Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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Facts about OCD and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1) Obsessive compulsive disorder, commonly referred to as OCD, is a mental disorder characterized by irrational and fearful thoughts that lead to compulsions and obsessions aimed at relieving stress and anxiety.
2) The symptoms of OCD can range, depending on the original obsession that is trying to be relieved by compulsive behavior. For instance, if the obsession is one of not turning off the stove, the symptom will be checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it is turned off. If the obsession is one of receiving germs, the compulsion may be washing one’s hands repeatedly, even after they have become chapped and sore from over washing.
3) Many times those with OCD realize that their compulsions are obsessive, but it does not help them to stop. In fact, many times this realization may cause more stress and anxiety, resulting in an increase of the behavior.
4) It is estimated that nearly one in every 50 American adults, or 2 percent of the United States population, suffers with OCD. It can show up in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood.
5) Popular obsessions for those with OCD include: obsessive sexual thoughts, fear of germs and dirt, needing things to be overly orderly and symmetrical in placement, and various aggressive impulses or thoughts. These obsessions lead to the most common compulsions, including: obsessive orderliness, repeated actions, counting, washing, cleaning, and checking things repetitively.
6) Having OCD can affect the sufferer’s relationships and quality of life and may lead to depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts.
7) Although there is no certain cause of OCD, many believe it may be caused by low levels of serotonin, certain biology or brain functions, and environmental factors, such as trauma. Research continues to determine the cause. It is thought that it is genetic as well, though no certain genes have been identified.
8) Treatment can vary, though cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common treatments. Medications to treat the include anti-depressants and psychiatric medications.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews