Chicago Anxiety Disability Attorneys

Illinois Social Security Lawyers

Anxiety is a psychological and physiological condition that can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness, and dread. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a chronic medical disorder that is characterized by excessive, long-lasting anxiety about nonspecific life events, objects, and situations. Fears of those who suffer from GAD are typically unrealistic or out of proportion with a typical response to the situation. GAD can interfere with a person’s life to the point that a person is unable to perform daily activities or participate in social activities and relationships.

In order to qualify for social security disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), an applicant must have a medical condition that meets the definition of total disability under social security laws. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has developed a list of medical conditions that automatically qualify as disabilities, one of which includes mental disorders such as anxiety.

Medical conditions under the mental disorder medical listing require that the condition meet specific requirements in order for an applicant to qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. Generally, an applicant must provide medically-documented findings to support one of the following:

  1. Generalized persistent anxiety accompanied by at least three of the following symptoms: motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, apprehensive expectation, or vigilance and scanning.
  2. Persistent irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation which results in a compelling desire to avoid the dreaded object, activity or situation.
  3. Recurrent severe panic attacks manifested by a sudden unpredictable onset of intense apprehension, fear, terror and sense of impending doom occurring at least once a week, on average.
  4. Recurrent obsessions or compulsions that cause marked distress.
  5. Recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience.

An applicant must also show that the condition results in at least two of the following: (a) marked restriction of daily activities; (b) marked difficulties to function socially; (c) marked difficulties maintaining concentration, persistence or pace; or (d) repeated episodes of decomposition for an extended period of time. Alternatively, the applicant must also show that his or her anxiety results in a compete inability to function independently outside of his or her home.

As with all applications for social security disability benefits, the SSA will determine whether the applicant is able to perform work that they have done in the past despite their anxiety. If the person cannot perform the same or similar work, the SSA will consider the applicant’s age, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine if any other work can be performed and to assess the medical-vocational rules with respect to the particular applicant.

The SSDI and SSI application process can be incredibly complex and detailed. The assistance of a knowledgeable social security attorney can be instrumental to the success of your application. Ankin Law is a Chicago, Illinois social security disability law firm that focuses on representing clients pursuing social security benefits for a variety of medical conditions and at all stages of the process. If you are unable to work due to anxiety, contact our office at (872) 529-9377 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Chicago social security disability attorneys.


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Ankin Law

10 N Dearborn, Suite 500
Chicago, Illinois 60602

(872) 529-9377