Mental illness is something that few want to talk about or acknowledge, but it afflicts a significant number of people. In New Jersey, when people are suffering from mental illness or mental conditions, it can negatively impact their ability to function in work and social settings, making it all-but impossible to earn a living. For those with obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is possible that the issues meet the requirements for qualifying mental conditions and disability benefits can be approved. Understanding OCD and what evidence is needed is key to a case.

With OCD and anxiety disorders, the person will be excessively anxious, worried, apprehensive and fearful. They might also avoid certain thoughts, feelings, places, people and activities. They will frequently feel restless, be unable to concentrate, express excessive vigilance, have muscle tension, experience sleep disturbances, be fatigued and have panic attacks. This can occur with people of any age.

To approve SSD benefits for these issues, the Social Security Administration will need medical evidence provided from a qualified source. It must be objective and analyze how severe the disorder is along with how it impacts the person’s ability to function in an appropriate manner for their age. A psychiatrist, psychologist and other medical sources can provide evidence.

The symptoms, medical and physical exams, rating scales from psychiatric and psychological testing, assessments on development, the diagnosis, if there is therapy and how frequent and effective it is, observations, medications, and projections on how long the symptoms will hinder the person will all be used.

Other sources of evidence can include: those who know the claimant and can testify as to how their mental disorder affects them; school, work, vocational training programs and how they function in these settings as well as their effectiveness; evidence of behaviors that are indicative of mental illness; how the person functions in unfamiliar situations and supportive situations; and the assessment from the SSA.

It can be hard for a person to accept that he or she has a mental illness that is hindering their ability to function and be productive. However, since OCD, anxiety and other disorders can be so debilitating, it is possible that the person can get Social Security disability benefits for anxiety disorders. Before taking the next step, having legal advice from a qualified and concerned attorney can be imperative. It is vital to call for a consultation as soon as possible to begin the application process.