If Your Claim for Anxiety Disability is Denied
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. population. More than 18% of Americans, or 40 million people over 18, are affected. Although treatable, only 36% of anxiety sufferers receive treatment.
Individuals suffering from anxiety disability face each day as a challenge. Because anxiety is difficult to medically and objectively measure, victims of anxiety disorders frequently see their claims denied when they file a claim to receive disability benefits.
Many of the people we help suffer from anxiety disorders, fighting desperately to make sense of their lives. If you’re living with anxiety now, you know and understand the difficulty of not only anxieity, but dealing with insurance companies, Social Security, or the VA. That’s where we can help you.
Different kinds of anxiety disorders exist, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Other anxiety-related symptoms that directly impact your ability to work
Anxiety may be a person’s main disability, or it may also be the result of the person trying to overcome symptoms. For example, when someone with a phobic disorder tries to confront their terrible, yet irrational, fear of a situation or object, or when someone with OCD attempts to resist their obsessions or compulsions, the end result may be severe anxiety..
If anxiety has taken over your life and you are unable to work, you need to speak to an attorney who focuses on representing individuals in disability claims. If you have questions, request a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your anxiety disability with Marc Whitehead today. Call us toll free at 800-562-9830.
Getting Long Term Disability Insurance Benefits for Anxiety Disorders
In our practice, we routinely deal with long term disability insurance carriers who deny claims for anxiety disability. One typical insurance company tactic is to disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis to avoid paying you disability benefits. Instead, they have their own physicians or psychiatrists working for them who will find that you are able to work. Remember that these psychiatrists represent the insurance company, and do not have your best interests in mind.
To make a mental health claim on your disability insurance policy, it is crucial that you are able to show that the severity of your condition prohibits your ability to work. Your disability policy may have a clause that specifically describes claims for mental disorders.
LTD policies frequently try to enforce a 24-month “cap” or limit on various mental impairments. If they have awarded short-term disability, they may claim you are able to return to work, or otherwise no longer qualified for benefits when the short-term runs out.
Lawyers who are not familiar with disability insurance – both private and group disability policies – rarely understand all that has to be proved, the timeframes that must be followed, and what the insurance companies are up to, in order to successfully appeal and win a denied claim for anxiety-related disability benefits. That’s why it’s important to work with an attorney who understands disability law, as well as how insurance companies work. You need someone who will do more than just write a letter and hope someone will pay attention.
Social Security Disability Insurance for Anxiety Disability
Anxiety is listed in the Social Security Listing of Impairments under Mental Disorders, listing Section 12.06, Anxiety-related Disorders.
The Listing of Impairments contains multi-part requirements one must meet in order to be eligible to be awarded disability benefits for anxiety. You must meet several criteriaat certain levels of severity in order to qualify. But positively proving anxiety as a disability can be difficult, since the diagnosis can be considered subjective, supported with symptoms that occur outside of a clinical setting by the patient who self-reports them.
Social Security defines a disability as:
“any medically determinable mental or medical impairment that has prevented an individual from performing substantial work for twelve months, is expected to prevent an individual from working for twelve continuous months. . . .”
As part of their assessment, Social Security will examine whether your anxiety disability results in a complete lack of ability to function independently outside of your home. They will assess your overall ability, or lack of ability, to carry out basic work-related activities. You must be able to show that your symptoms will last at least 12 months.
That’s why it is vital that you have medically documented findings of your diagnosis and symptoms, with a precise description of the job duties that produce anxiety. The documentation must report your level of inability to:
- perform normal activities of daily living
- interact socially
- concentrate for longs periods
- function intellectually
Testimony of friends, co-workers, employers and social workers regarding your performance and behavior are also considered.
To maximize your chances of winning a Social Security Disability claim appeal, it is critical to have appeal attorneys experienced and knowledgeable with the process to represent you in a hearing. Our attorneys are board certified in Social Security Disability. We are here to help you gather and prepare all of the necessary documentation, give you unquestionable support, and present your case in the most advantageous way to win the SSDI benefits you need and deserve.
Veterans with Anxiety Disability
Many Veterans return home from serving their country only to live with a multitude of disabilities. Nearly 1 in 4 veterans show signs of a mental health condition, and about 30% of soldiers develop mental health conditions within 6 months of returning home. Psychological injuries are prevalent, and anxiety is among the most common.
The VA uses their Schedule for Rating Disabilities when determining disability compensation. Anxiety is listed under Mental Disorders sections 4.125-4.130 for Anxiety Disorders. These conditions include:
- Generalized anxiety disorders
- Unspecified neurosis
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
The rating also shows the percentage loss of use of a body part, and compensation is based on this assessment.
The VA frequently underrates claims for mental disorders, either because evidence supporting the severity of the disorder was insufficient, or because the VA disregarded the evidence of the severity of the disorder. Don’t let this deter you from either applying for disability or challenging the VA after a denial or low rating.
If the VA denies your claim for anxiety disability, or if you disagree with the VA disability rating, act quickly to protect your rights to avoid missing any deadlines. Marc Whitehead & Associates are accredited Veterans claim attorneys. We can help you appeal an unfair denial and ensure your claim is properly supported and represented.
We Can Help You, Starting Today
Marc Whitehead & Associates welcomes your call. The most important thing you can do is not give up, but let qualified attorneys help you fight for every penny you deserve.
Ask a question to a lawyer about your anxiety disability now and call us toll free at 800-562-9830. Although we are located in Texas, we work with clients nationwide to get them the help they need so they can focus their energies on living with a disability. You don’t need to come to our office.