Anxiety Related Disorders

Legal Advocates for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Massachusetts

Located in Boston, the Massachusetts social security disability lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates are committed to recovering workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits for eligible employees. For over 25 years, we have successfully represented injured workers in counties including, but not limited to, Essex, Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Merrimack River. Our attorneys are also devoted to defending the rights of SSDI applicants across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Section 12.06 of the federal Social Security Act (the “Act”) provides for disability benefits for anxiety-related disorders. The Act applies to disabled workers through Massachusetts General Law c. 151B, § 4. These laws prohibit discrimination based upon disabilities such as anxiety-related behaviors. If the disorder is severe enough to prevent engagement in substantial gainful activity for at least 12 months, including work, the affected patient is entitled to SSDI benefits. Section 12.06 defines anxiety-related disorders as any “phobic disturbance” when confronting triggers, causing:

  • Chronic anxiety with signs of
    • Motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity
    • Apprehension, dread, or hyper-vigilance
  • Persistent dread of specific circumstance resulting in
    • Compulsive desire to evade feared situation
  • Ongoing serious panic attacks of sudden onset and
    • Perceived imminent threat felt at least once a week
  • Recurrent obsession or compulsion causing panic or social anxiety
  • Memory or post-traumatic stress disorder causing marked distress

In addition to these symptoms, claimants must also show medical results demonstrating marked restriction of daily activities, difficulties in social functioning, trouble concentrating, or repeated and extended episodes of “decompensation.” In the alternative, patients may also show disability through the inability to function independently outside of the home. Persistent apprehension, tension, and even terror should be the “predominant disturbance,” distinguishing anxiety-related impairments from other emotional disorders characterized by general feelings of nervousness.

Evidence of Anxiety

In order to recover SSDI benefits for an anxiety-related disorder, the impairment must be of sufficient severity and duration to have a marked impact on daily life. Because anxiety is a “listed” impairment in the disability evaluation manual used to grant benefits, individuals that meet the criteria set forth in the “blue book” automatically qualify for compensation. However, the disorder must have “severe, ongoing, or recurrent” symptoms evidenced by:

  • History and physical exam
  • Laboratory/clinical abnormality
  • Loss of specific cognitive ability
  • Medically documented persistence of
    • Disorientation to time and place
    • Short or long-term memory loss
    • Disturbances in thought, delusions
    • Personality, mood, emotional changes
    • Sudden outbursts, lack of impulse control

Further, these symptoms must result in marked difficulties in social function or a history of chronic mental disorder lasting at least 2 years and severely limiting the ability to carry out basic work activities. This may be shown by failure to make even small adjustments to meet minimal mental demands or inability to function for 1 or more years outside a highly supportive living arrangement. Those who do not meet these criteria may still receive a medical allowance.

Recovering Compensation

If you suffer from an anxiety-related disorder, the Massachusetts social security disability attorneys of Kantrovitz & Associates can help. We have over 25 years of experience recovering compensation for workers suffering from PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, and various phobias. We are dedicated to helping you recover the SSDI benefits you deserve. Call (800) 367-0871 for a free consultation or contact us online.