Q Can I get Social Security disability benefits if I have social anxiety?
If you cannot work because you are severely limited by social anxiety, you may be able to get Social Security benefits. However, just being diagnosed with the condition will not be enough to claim disability. You must prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) how your condition limits your abilities on a daily basis. For example, you should be able to show how the social anxiety affects your:
- Living and self-care. It’s not only your work life that can be affected by social anxiety. Nearly every aspect of your daily life involves interacting with others, from grocery shopping and going to the bank, to riding the bus and calling a maintenance worker to fix a broken window. In some cases, social anxiety can be so crippling that victims avoid going to the doctor, neglecting their well-being, and endangering their health as a result.
- Public and private interactions. You should provide an overview of how your anxiety specifically affects your ability to communicate with others. For example, you may be fine speaking on the phone, but unable to have a one-on-one conversation in person. If your anxiety has ever resulted in disciplinary action, such as a written warning or eviction notice, be sure to mention the incident to SSA.
- Special exceptions. People with social anxiety may prefer to do things in a way that limits their contact with others. For example, a worker who avoids all non-essential meetings and uses text messages instead of speaking to coworkers may be treated differently at work. These altered perceptions of the employee can make his anxiety even worse, even to the point where he cannot go into work.
Severe Social Anxiety is a Disability
If you are not eligible for disability payments for social anxiety, you may still be able to work in a different environment that is more comfortable. Click the contact link on this page to find out what your best options are. Your contact with us is free, and we do not charge you anything unless we win your case.