Agoraphobia is a mental impairment that involves an individual’s fear of experiencing anxiety or panic attacks in public places. Someone with agoraphobia may experience anxiety being in situations where escape would be difficult or where they would be unable to get help if they became anxious. Avoidance of public places becomes the primary coping mechanism for people with agoraphobia resulting in that person becoming confined in their home. An individual’s job performance and personal relationships can inherently suffer when dealing with agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia is considered to be an anxiety disorder. Often cases of anxiety are often not severe enough for individual to qualify for Social Security Benefits. In order for one to be eligible for disability benefits their anxiety disorder must impact their lives in a way that severely interferes with their ability to perform daily functions. For someone to qualify for Social Security benefits, he or she must meet certain SSA requirements. A person with agoraphobia must satisfy requirements of both A and B, or both A and C
- Medical evidence showing at least one of the following:
- Long-lasting anxiety characterized by motor tension, hyperactivity, apprehensiveness, or hypervigilance
- An irrational fear and avoidance of a particular activity or situation
- Severe and recurring panic attacks occurring an average of once a week
- Distress resulting from irrational obsessions or compulsions
- Persistent stress caused by a past trauma
- The above symptoms cause problems performing daily activities, interacting socially, or maintaining focus and concentration
- A total inability to function independently outside the home.
If your symptoms do not meet the above requirements, you may still qualify for benefits depending on conditions caused by your anxiety. A way to make qualifying for Social Security Disability easier is to provide the SSA the opinion of your mental health provider. Your doctor can fill out a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form where he or she can address your ability to interact appropriately with public or supervisors, maintain attendance, deal with stressful situations, make work-related decisions, concentrate and follow simple and complex instructions. Additional reports from friends and family are also helpful in facilitating your claim. We at Disability Advocates Group will help you gather any information that you need to help you win your case!