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Social Security Dissability/Appeal and Panick Attacks


Panic Attacks are often included on a person’s SSDI/SSI Application for benefits. However, it is essential for the person applying for Social Security Disability Benefits to provide medical documentation and describe how the attacks come on and what they feel like in pain staking detail.


What Are Panic Attacks?


For the most part, panic attacks are episodes of extreme fear or psychological distress. However, the symptoms vary from person to person and include increased heart rate, shortness of breath, extreme fear/paranoia, numbness in limbs and extreme tightening in the chest. When you apply or appeal for Social Security Disability, it will be essential to describe your symptoms in painstaking detail, leaving nothing to be assumed by the judge or claim examiner. Furthermore, there are many more symptoms that accompany a panic attack and it will be important for you to provide the information to Social Security.

Moreover, it is important for you as a social security disability claimant to describe what triggers your panic attacks. An individual’s panic attack triggers can range anywhere from an object, a sound, a situation or a reoccurring memory that causes extreme fear. Panic attacks are very serious and can have lasting emotional and physical effects on the person.


Many people can overcome panic attacks with medication and regular visits with a counselor. However, some of these medications come with intense side effects and a person with severe panic attacks are unable to control them with medication and counseling and they live in fear and feel like they cannot even leave their home. These individuals also may suffer from severe exhaustion because the panic attacks take so much of their energy and they are in a constant state fearing when the attacks will reoccur.  For those who continue to have panic attacks and these associated psychiatric conditions, it can be difficult to hold down a job.


Social Security Benefits for Panic Attacks


To rise to the level of a disability for which Social Security will pay monthly benefits, Social Security Administration will require that you have:

  • attacks of apprehension, fear, and terror with a sense of doom, that

  • occur frequently (on average of at least once per week), and

  • are sudden and unpredictable


In addition, the panic attacks must cause you serious problems with one of the following:

  • social functioning

  • being able to leave your house

  • focusing on tasks, or

  • activities like cooking, eating, dressing, bathing, and homemaking.


Required Medical Documentation:


Medical documentation of your anxiety condition and the restrictions that they cause you and how they affect your daily living functions will be essential to your SSDI/SSI claim. Additionally, it will be important for you to see your treating doctors regularly if that is part of your treatment plan in order for Social Security to see that you have tried to seek help, but your condition has not improved and severely affects your ability to find and maintain gainful employment.


Moreover, your doctors should provide their treatment notes that indicate the following:


1. What your panic attacks are like

2.  How long they last & how frequently they occur

3. What triggers them for you

4.  A Description of how they limit you from doing things at home, at work, or socially.

5. This is often overlooked by a lot of SSI/SSDI applicant. You should have a medication list provided by your doctor with a description of how or if you are affected by their side effects.


If you want further information, contact Social Security Appeal Lawyer, Attorney Joseph W. Ingaharro for a  Free Consultation by clicking here or calling at 978-566-1075.

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