You are not shy, and you may resent when people describe you that way. In fact, your problem goes much deeper than shyness to an often paralyzing fear. While it is normal for people to feel nervous in social gatherings, even around people they know, it is not typical for that nervousness to prevent them from participating.
You may miss important events, family gatherings or the chance to socialize with friends because you are overtaken with anxiety that people will judge you or that you will make an embarrassing mistake. Unfortunately, if you suffer from social anxiety disorder, you may also be unable to keep a job.
Social anxiety as a disability
There are few occupations in which you have no interaction with other people. In fact, you may even be unable to obtain the education or training you need to qualify for a satisfying job. This may make it difficult for you to manage your finances, and you are wondering if you can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance based on your diagnosis of SAD.
Fortunately, anxiety disorders like SAD qualify for SSDI if your condition meets the level of severity prescribed by the Social Security Administration. This includes documentation of your persistent anxiety and a consequential disability or restriction on your level of function in social situations. In other words, your anxiety impairs your ability to perform normal functions like using public transportation or keeping appointments, and this impairment has lasted a year or longer.
Levels of impairment
Your disorder may include some social anxiety, but you may still be able to perform some daily tasks. For example, if your work requires you to speak in front of people, such as a teacher, you may be unable to perform that duty while you can handle other social activities without episodes.
The SSA will evaluate each case based on the documentation in the application, so it is wise to include as much information as possible, including medical records, psychological tests, documentation of medical treatment as well as personal statements from you, your family, and your co-workers. SSA agents will need details about your anxiety, what triggers an attack and how it affects your daily life.
Pursuing disability benefits for a mental disorder is not easy, and you may feel overwhelmed by the challenge. However, the benefits are critical for your quality of life, so seeking the assistance of a skilled North Carolina disability attorney may be in your best interests.