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Mental Disorders & SSDI

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays disability benefits to individuals who have a severe medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

To better understand which medical conditions qualify for a disability, the SSA has created what is called a “Listing of Impairments.” The Listing of Impairments lists dozens of medical conditions that qualify under the SSA’s definition of a “disability.”

This list includes various medical conditions that affect each major body system; section 12.00 of the Listing of Impairments specifically addresses mental disorders. The mental disorders included on this list, include but are not limited to:

  • Organic mental disorders
  • Schizophrenic and paranoid disorders
  • Other psychotic disorders
  • Affective disorders
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Anxiety-related disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Disorders involving substance addiction
  • Autistic disorders
  • Other developmental disorders

While all of the above disorders deserve attention, we wanted to address anxiety-related disorders since they affect so many individuals.

According to the SSA, with qualifying anxiety-related disorders, the anxiety is either the main disturbance for the individual, or the person experiences anxiety when he or she tries to master the symptoms, for example, when they try to confront a dreaded object or situation.

Common signs and symptoms of persistent anxiety:

  • Apprehension
  • Scanning
  • A persistent and irrational fear of a specific activity, situation, or object
  • Severe, recurring panic attacks
  • A compelling desire to avoid a dreaded object or situation

Severe anxiety can be debilitating, and it often leads to a marked restriction in a person’s daily activities, which can make working nearly impossible.

Individuals afflicted with anxiety can have marked difficulty socializing, maintaining concentration and pace, and they can experience repeated episodes of decompensation (psychological disturbances, inability to cope), which can last for an extended period of time.

In the worst cases, an individual suffering with an anxiety-related disorder may have such intense episodes that they completely lose the ability to function independently outside of their home.

If you are interested in applying for SSDI due to a mental disorder, we encourage you to contact our Dallas Social Security Disability attorneys for assistance!