Anxiety is the number 1 most common medical condition listed on Social Security disability applications. Therefore, Social Security decision makers are very reluctant to approve a disability case based on anxiety unless you have the right things in your medical records that set you apart from the crowd. Here are 6 Tips on how to win your anxiety case.
- Treat With A Therapist, Psychologist, and Psychiatrist: First, you must treat with a doctor that specializes in mental health. Social Security decision makers will rely mostly on your therapist, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist notes and less on your primary care doctor’s notes when making a decision on your case. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that have a therapist, psychologist, and/or psychiatrist.
- Your Mental Health Doctor Must Diagnose You With Anxiety: The SSA wants to see evidence of any psychological testing or evaluations diagnosing you with anxiety.
- The SSA Wants to See Consistent Reports of Anxiety: It is not enough to simply report a couple of anxiety attacks. The SSA wants to see treatment notes by your mental health doctor showing that you have been consistently reporting symptoms of anxiety.
- Explain To Your Doctor Your Work/Daily Limitations Caused By Your Anxiety: Remember Social Security Judges rely on your doctors notes when making a decision on whether you can work! Specifically, the judges are looking for how your anxiety effects your daily functioning and your ability to work. Often, doctors only care about your general symptoms and how to make you better. Therefore, work and daily limitations caused by your anxiety often do not get in the doctors notes unless you go out of your way to let your doctor know about these limitations. For example, what specifically happens when you experience anxiety at work? Do you leave the job site? Do you lock yourself in the bathroom for an hour? Do you suffer in silence but are unable to complete your work tasks that day due to difficulty with memory and concentration? You need to tell you doctor about these problems!
- Have Your Doctor Fill Out An Anxiety Functional Capacity Form (RFC): At Ellis & Associates we take a substantial amount of time studying your medical record and creating a checklist form (called a “functional capacity” form) that translates medical findings into work limitations. We know which vocational factors carry the most weight with Judges in a particular hearing office. You will need to give this form to your doctor. Most caring physicians will agree to spend ten or fifteen minutes to complete a form that can dramatically better your life. If your doctor refuses to cooperate, you may want to think about finding a more cooperative doctor.
- Proof of Unsuccessful Work Attempts Due to Anxiety: Past work absences or unsuccessful work attempts caused by your anxiety is great evidence of your inability to work. If possible, try to get a statement from your past employer regarding any work absences due to anxiety symptoms.