What is Agoraphobia, and Can I Get Disability Benefits for it?
Getting approved for Social Security disability benefits can be difficult enough if you have a condition that can be demonstrated through lab tests, like blood work and x-rays. What happens if your disability is psychological, such as mental illness like agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that causes you to avoid places or situations that make you feel afraid, trapped, embarrassed or helpless. Agoraphobia causes one to fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as being in crowds, using public transportation, or being in confined spaces. Those who suffer from agoraphobia often also have panic attacks as well, and a variety of other manifestations of the disorder are common:
— Social symptoms, including the inability to handle being in crowded places or to function independently outside of your “comfort zone” without help from someone close to you, like a family member
— Psychological symptoms, including a sense of terror, helplessness and a loss of control
— Physical symptoms, including a rapid heart beat, trouble breathing, numbness in your hands and feet, dizziness and an upset stomach
These symptoms are very disturbing to those that these happen to. If you are suffering from these symptoms and unable to work talking to SSI lawyer in PA, or other states can help you get the help you need.
How Panic Attacks Relate To Agoraphobia and Social Security Disability
Panic attacks often are triggered agoraphobia or agoraphobia can be triggered by panic attacks. Both can be true. Panic attacks are intense and acute feelings of fear. Symptoms of a panic attack include intense feelings of dread, heart palpitations, numbness, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, and uncontrollable shaking. Panic Attacks is also known to the National Institute of Mental Health as Panic Disorder. Many people with agoraphobia seldom leave their homes and only go to very familiar places due to the panic attacks and panic disorder that can accompany agoraphobia.
Fortunately, Social Security does recognize agoraphobia with or without panic attacks as a disorder. Under Listing 12:06 of the Social Security Agency manual uses to determine whether or not someone meets the requirements for disability. This makes it significantly easier to get approved for benefits than if your condition isn’t specifically listed in the Social Security manual.
Getting Disability Benefits for Agoraphobia or Panic Attack Disorders
The trick for getting disability for agoraphobia often comes down to proving that you meet the listed requirements because the requirements state that you have to have “medical evidence” of your condition. Unless you happened to have a spell of agoraphobia or a panic attack right in front of your psychiatrist or physician, the odds are good that your doctor is going to have to rely on you to report your symptoms.
That’s why it’s particularly important to try to maintain a relationship with a therapist or physician with whom you feel comfortable discussing your psychological problems. Your doctor’s evaluation of your candor and credibility are important parts of SSA evaluation — and they will examine your doctor’s notes for signs of consistency in the way that you report your symptoms.
Getting approved for Social Security due to agoraphobia with or without panic attacks isn’t impossible but it can be difficult. Anyone having a hard time getting approved may find a social security disability PA attorney’s guidance and advice very helpful.
Source: Social Security, “Disability Evaluations Under Social Security 12:00 Mental Disorders – Adult,” accessed Jan. 03, 2017