Disability Audio is a regularly updated podcast that provides information about the Social Security Disability and SSI disability benefit system. It is produced by former Disability Claims Examiner Tim Moore, who previously worked for the Social Security Administration’s “DDS”, or Disability Determination Services agency.
More resources on the Social Security Disability Resource Page.
Description of this podcast segment:
Social security looks at all physical and mental impairments the same way. In other words, to be approved for disability benefits on the basis of one or more conditions, the condition must be severe enough that it prevents an individual from being able to perform substantial gainful work activity for a year or longer, or be severe enough that it may possible result in death.
Stress is not a condition that is listed in the SSA blue book; however, when most individuals list “stress” on a claim for disability, they are referring to an anxiety related disorder. Anxiety disorders do have their own section in the impairment listing manual for consideration.
In any event, disability examiners base their determinations on what the medical records have to say about a claimant’s condition, versus what the claimant has to say about their condition. More specifically, examiners use the information contained in the records to rate a claimant’s residual functional capacity, a rating of what a person can still do and can no longer do. Functional capacity ratings including physical ratings and mental ratings.
How are functional capacity ratings used? Essentially, by gauging what an individual is presently capable of doing and comparing it the physical and/or mental requirements of jobs that, in the view of the social security administration, a person might be capable of doing.
Of course, it should be noted that individuals who are filing for disability based on stress or some type of anxiety disorder should attempt to get treatment from a mental health professional. Social Security decision makers generally look for treatment records from a mental health treatment professional that establish a longitudinal history of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.