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The Law Offices of Martin Taller
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Free consultations. Se Habla Español

Panic attacks and Social Security Disability in California

Twenty-first century society provides plenty of opportunities for anxiety. Whether due to the general state of the world, or various personal issues that crop up every day that are difficult to deal with, anybody can have times of anxiousness or fear. However, for some people with certain medical conditions, these times can become completely overwhelming and debilitating. For these individuals, panic attacks are not something to "get over," but rather a genuine illness that may require medication and other treatment. It may even prevent them from working.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) publishes some guidance when it comes to preparing applications for conditions that may qualify one for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). For applicants with anxiety disorders in the form of panic attacks, the SSA requires medical evidence of a disorder defined in one of two paragraphs. First, is a disability characterized by at least three of a list of symptoms? These symptoms include restlessness, irritability, trouble concentrating, generalized fatigue, muscular tension, and sleep problems. Alternatively, the applicant could show a panic disorder that causes attacks followed by a persistent fear of future attacks, or a disproportionate anxiety about being in two of certain specific circumstances, such as leaving home, being outside, or dealing with crowds.

Along with the above, the SSA will want to see evidence that the applicant is experiencing an extreme limitation in being able to remember things or apply or understand information, concentrate on or maintain pace in tasks, interact with others or adapt and manage him- or herself. "Marked limitation" of two of these skills may also suffice. Alternatively, the applicant can show the evidence in the preceding paragraph and that the disorder has been serious and persistent for over two year. In this situation the claimant must also show that he or she has been in treatment or therapy that is ongoing and helping, as well as that the individual has not been able to adjust to new environmental conditions or changing life demands.

Living with serious panic attacks is difficult enough without adding the anxiety of an inability to work and its corresponding financial problems. Californians who are disabled due to anxiety disorders may wish to consider looking for professional legal help to gather evidence of their qualifying conditions to submit to the SSA.

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The Law Offices Of Martin Taller

2300 E. Katella Ave. Suite 440
Anaheim, CA 92806

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