March 6, 2019
Mental illnesses can be every bit as debilitating as physical ones. Workplaces often carry a certain level of anxiety and uncertainty, from a noisy warehouse to a claustrophobic office space. No matter where you work, it’s possible that your environment can be a stressor that does more than merely set you on edge.
So what if you have a mental illness that keeps you from working? If you have something like, say, agoraphobia, is it possible for you to receive disability benefits if the condition is preventing you from working?
Setting a Definition
Let’s start by defining agoraphobia.
To have agoraphobia is to fear entering public spaces. You dread the nearly infinite variables a public place poses and the lack of predictability that ensues. You fear not having an escape from situations at a moment’s notice. You fear being trapped or embarrassed, even to the point of not being able to leave your house.
If any of this sounds like you, you may have agoraphobia, and there are some things you can do to make sure you receive a proper diagnosis.
First, get a psychological evaluation. Psychological experts know exactly what they’re looking for in anxiety-carrying people, and agoraphobic patients are no exception. From both your descriptions of your day-to-day struggles and their own observations, an expert will be able to tell if your issue is severe enough to warrant a formal diagnosis and treatment. On top of a psychological evaluation, you should also receive a physical exam to see if and how the agoraphobia is affecting your body.
If and when you receive a formal diagnosis, you can then proceed in taking the steps to receive disability benefits, if your condition is severe enough.
Your Diagnosis and Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a “blue book” that lists anxiety and its branching disorders under its coverage (Listing 12.06, to be specific). Meeting the prerequisites for these listings requires specificity and detail, but doing so strengthens your case for benefits.
In order to qualify for agoraphobia specifically, you must have a formal diagnosis and experience either panic attacks with a dread of future panic attacks and their consequences, or increased anxiety toward two distinct scenarios, like being in a crowd, driving in traffic, or even leaving your house. You can fall under both of these categories as well.
In order to get disability benefits, you must also fill out a form which establishes both your diagnosis and resultant inability to interact with coworkers, follow directions, keep focus, or perform under pressure.
Help from an Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer
Any form of anxiety hampers the joy of living and working, and agoraphobia is no exception. If you or someone you know suffers from agoraphobia so much that even leaving the house for work is an issue, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim. Our Indiana Social Security disability lawyers are here to help.