How to Qualify for Social Security Disability If You Have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder PaperworkYour thoughts and worries cause you to repeat the same behaviors. You’ve likely tried different ways to stop the behavior that may interfere with your everyday life, but stopping the behavior only increases your stress and anxiety. Accordingly, you continue to clean your home excessively, wash your hands exceptionally often, follow strict routines, or otherwise act compulsively in a way that interferes with your ability to work and to go about your regular activities.

You can’t work because, despite treatment, your obsessive-compulsive order (OCD) takes too much time out of your day for you to hold a job.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability With OCD

OCD is typically a life-long condition that begins during adolescence or young adulthood. However, the symptoms can change throughout your life. For some period of time, you may be able to manage your OCD symptoms with or without medical help. During these periods, you may work and you may have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security disability if your OCD prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

Listing of Impairments Section 12.06

The Social Security Administration considers OCD to be an anxiety-related disorder. OCD and other anxiety-related conditions such as social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and general anxiety disorder are included in Section 12.06 of the Listing of Impairments.

If you experience excessive worry, anxiety, or fear, and you have obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, then you could qualify for Social Security disability benefits. To qualify under Section 12.06, you will need to prove that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, with one or both of the following:

  • Involuntary, time-consuming preoccupation with intrusive and unwanted thoughts
  • Repetitive behaviors that you do to reduce your anxiety.

Additionally, you will need to prove that one of the following is true:

  • You have an extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two of the following areas of mental functioning: (1) understanding, remembering, or applying information; (2) interacting with other people; (3) concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or (4) adapting or managing yourself.
  • Your OCD is serious and persistent. To prove that your OCD is serious and persistent, you will need medical documentation that your OCD was diagnosed at least two years ago and evidence: (1) of medical treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support or a highly structured setting that is ongoing and that diminishes your OCD symptoms; and (2) that you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to things that are not already part of your daily routine.

OCD impacts people in different ways. It’s possible that you can’t work and, yet, you don’t meet the requirements described in the Listing of Impairments.

Can You Work at All?

It would be unfair to deny you benefits just because you don’t meet the detailed eligibility requirements in Section 12.06 of the Listing of Impairments. Accordingly, if you’ve been diagnosed with OCD and you don’t meet the requirements described above, then the Social Security Administration will consider whether you can:

  • Go back to the work that you did before your OCD became disabling.
  • Go back to any kind of work. In making this determination, the Social Security Administration will consider your education, work history, age, and physical ability to work.

If you can’t go back to work, then you are eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Let Our Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyers Help You

The majority of initial Social Security disability applications are denied. Many of these denials happen because of simple errors that an experienced Social Security disability lawyer can help you avoid. You can trust our local lawyers to give you accurate advice and to help you with your New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts Social Security disability claim.

If you have OCD and you can’t work, don’t let one more day go by without getting the disability benefits that you’ve earned. Call us, or reach out to us via this website, for a free Social Security disability screening.

 

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer