Can you get disability for OCD?
OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder, is addressed in the social Security administration's medical impairment listing manual. The condition is not given its own specific listing with its own specific approval criteria, but, instead, is included as a part of listing 12.06, Anxiety-related disorder.
By the wording of the listing's preamble, SSA views OCD as a condition in which anxiety is experienced as a result of attempting to master obsessive compulsive disorder symptomology (i.e. trying to resist obsessive or compulsive urges).
To meet the requirements of SSI and SSD, and the criterial of the Anxiety-related disorders listing as it relates to Obsessive compulsive disorder, an individual who applies for disability benefits (in either the Social Security Disability or SSI program) must, in their medical record documentation, be able to demonstrate a history of recurrent obessions or compulsions and these obsessions or compulsions must be shown to cause marked level stress.
Additionally, a claimant's psychiatric records must show either that the claimant cannot function independently outside their home or has profound difficulties in at least two of the four following areas:
1. Activities of daily living (there must be marked restrictions).
2. Social functioning (there must be marked difficulties).
3. Concentration, persistence or pace (there must be marked difficulties).
4. Repeated extended duration episodes of decompensation.
Obviously, to qualify for SSD or SSI on the basis of OCD, a claimant will need to present a substantial and well documented history of treatment provided by a mental health professional (psychiatrist).
Can individuals with OCD receive disability benefits if their records do not adequately satisfy the requirements of the anxiety-related disorders listing? Yes, it is always possible to receive an approval in the form of a medical vocational allowance, which takes into account one's limitations, work skills, age, education, and ability or inability to perform past work or forms of other work.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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