Shedding light on Disability for Agoraphobia
Are you suffering from Agoraphobia? If yes, then there may be diverse challenges that you might be facing in your day-to-day life. There might be situations when you just step outside your house and get panic attacks or an increase in your anxiety levels.
If you are an individual who has no experience of how to deal with this disorder, then things can get worse for you. Further, it can even have a serious impact on the ability required to maintain your professional and personal relationships.
As technology is booming, people are working remotely thereby making their lives much more convenient than before. However, the question which might be lingering in your mind is “Do I have the experience and education to deal with such jobs”? You may be wondering if you are suffering from agoraphobia disability and whether you are eligible for Agoraphobia disability benefits in the form of SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)?
In fact, if you suffer from agoraphobia, you may be eligible for disability insurance for agoraphobia. It is not certain, however, that you will meet the standards which are vital for obtaining these benefits. Before considering this, let’s help build an understanding as to what agoraphobia is.
What is Agoraphobia?
In simple terms, Agoraphobia is a disorder caused due to anxiety that arises in people who get scared or avoid social interaction. This gives rise to situations that make these kinds of people develop a perception of being trapped or embarrassed or even helpless. In some cases, people get scared of using public transportation or they fear going to shopping malls or hanging out in parks and gardens, standing in a queue at a shop, or going somewhere alone, or even going out to attend an event.
The disability of agoraphobia can even worsen when an individual experiences a panic attack and then starts worrying about going through another panic attack under the same circumstances prevailing. The statistics show that generally, 1.8 million Americans above 18 years of age experience agoraphobia.
These people may not have any history that showcases panic disorders. Agoraphobia usually appears in a person around the age of 20 which makes it difficult for him or her to step out of their house. If Agoraphobia is not treated in due course of time, then it may be aggravated which can even worsen the situation.
Did you know that agoraphobia is derived from the ancient Greek word “agora” which signifies a marketplace or a meeting in public? The people who suffer from the disability do not fear to go in public places by themselves, but it is their panic attacks that make them do all of this. There are various symptoms of panic attacks such as dizziness, problems in breathing, or chest pains. Let’s shed some more light on panic attacks.
What Is A Panic Attack?
A panic attack, in sum, is a scary feeling which an individual goes through. And, if someone is experiencing it for the first time, they usually dial 911 as if they are suffering from a heart attack. The medical community has discovered that panic attacks are mainly caused by the sympathetic nervous system. This means that it is not a mental disorder, but rather, it is a physical disorder.
In most situations, people generally suffering from panic attacks think that their body is in extreme danger. In reality, however, it is likely to be some minor or moderate threat. You can even look at the situation in this way. Imagine that you just step out of the house, see an ordinary act, and react as if it is a wild jaguar who is hungry to grab you.
Is Agoraphobia A Disability?
At times, agoraphobia can be classified as a disability. Agoraphobia involves panic attacks which also comprise the history of panic attacks of an individual. The Social Security Administration similarly assesses agoraphobia and panic attacks. Agoraphobia and panic attacks are common and they are not devastating at all times.
When a person suffers from agoraphobia, he or she has feelings of embarrassment or vulnerability. At times, feelings of being trapped can aggravate Agoraphobia. An individual might suffer from all or one of these feelings in public places which are generally brimming with people. People who are suffering from agoraphobia may require help from a friend or a companion as that would help the disabled person to stay calm in public places.
Generally, medical practitioners use a blend of cognitive therapies and different medications that helps in the treatment of the agoraphobia disability. If you want your loved one to be cured of this disability at a faster pace then you should encourage the disabled person to seek innovative ways to deal with the situations and motivate them so that they feel good.
Can You Get Disability Benefits for Agoraphobia?
The criteria to classify agoraphobia as a disability is very wide. Don’t keep pondering over whether agoraphobia is a disability or not. Instead, if you want to know more consult a disability lawyer.
For an individual to be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, he or she has to meet listing 12.06 for anxiety disorders stated in SSA’s blue book. If you have been diagnosed with agoraphobia or panic disorder, then you must be experiencing any one or both of the following:
- A person experiencing panic attacks and then concerned about having another panic attack in the future and/or
- The level of fear or anxiety is increasing in being in a public place or an open space.
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you meet either of these, or both of the above conditions and it is reflected in two, or more than two, of the areas such as regulating your emotions, adapting to a change, interacting with other people, being able to finish the task, understanding or remembering information or learning things.
Any person who meets all of the above criteria can be considered as not able to function outside the home or in public. Therefore, people who are suffering from agoraphobia can qualify for the benefits of disability. People can also get the Supplemental Security Income SSI for Agoraphobia benefits which are based on the financial need for individuals of age 65 or more, disabled, or if they are blind.
Determination of how Agoraphobia is the reason for causing work hindrance
If you are not currently seeking any opinion from any mental health provider, then it may be vital to seek an opinion as it will play a crucial role in your Social Security case. This is because SSA gives special attention to the opinion of the doctor who is treating your agoraphobia.
If you are working somewhere, then one of the convenient ways to review your limitations regarding work is to get the opinion of your doctor and filing the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. If you want to know more about how to fill RFC form, Contact a disability attorney.
In cases where a person is experiencing agoraphobia, then the RFC form must state all of your diagnosis along with addressing your capability to the following:
- How are you handling stressful situations?
- Your ability to make work-related decisions
- How are you attending your office or place of employment if you are missing from your work for more than one or two days or more?
- Are you able to maintain your concentration and focus?
- Are you able to follow simple instructions and complex instructions?
If in case you are experiencing other disorders also and apart from agoraphobia, then your doctor must also consider other impairments and what impact it is having in combination with your health along with how easily you can perform the above-mentioned tasks. Although, your doctor doesn’t have to say that you are disabled as the determination done by the Social Security Administration.
In many of the cases, it is seen that the opinions given by the friends and family are quite helpful for the mental health provider in dealing with the person experiencing panic attacks. This is because they give first-hand information about the person who is experiencing agoraphobia and his or her ability to go in public along with interaction with others.
It can indeed be helpful for the Social Security applicant also that he or she submits the “statement of the claimant” describing his or her condition to the Social Security Administration. The statement provided by the applicant must be precise and accurate, ranging from one or two pages.
The person must describe in his own words all the struggles that he is going through due to agoraphobia, which will determine his ability to go to public places and social interactions with other people. To gain more insights on agoraphobia, you are free to Contact James Miller Attorney.