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If you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you suffer from a serious anxiety disorder that interferes with your daily life. According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are three components to an OCD diagnosis. You may be diagnosed with OCD if you have obsessions and/or compulsions that:

  • Are time consuming (lasting at least one hour a day)
  • Cause you major distress
  • Impair your work, social functioning, or other important functioning

The Social Security Administration recognizes that OCD can interfere with your ability to work and may provide you with disability benefits if you qualify for the Social Security disability program.

How to Qualify

OCD is included in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book Listing of Impairments. Section 12.06 of the Listing of Impairments allows someone with OCD to be found eligible for Social Security disability if that person has medical documentation of obsessive-compulsive disorder characterized by one or both of the following: (a) involuntary, time-consuming preoccupation with intrusive, unwanted thoughts or (b) repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety. Additionally, one of the following must be true:

  • You have an extreme limitation of one, or a marked limitation of two, of the following types of mental functioning: (1) understanding, remembering, or applying information; (2) interacting with others; (3) concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or (4) adapting or managing yourself.
  • Your OCD is serious and persistent. That means that you have a medically documented history of OCD over a period of at least two years and there is evidence of both: (1) medication treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support, or a highly structured setting that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of OCD; and (2) marginal adjustment—or the minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands that are not already part of your daily life.

If you do not meet the requirements of Section 12.06, you may still be eligible for Social Security disability if you have evidence to prove that your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working a job that counts as substantial gainful activity.

Get the Help That You Need Before You Apply for Benefits

The majority of initial Social Security disability applications are denied, and many of these denials are because of information that is missing from the application. Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, be confident that you presented a strong and complete application for Social Security disability benefits so that a fair decision can be made about your eligibility. To learn more, please read our free book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know, and contact a board-certified lawyer directly for an initial case review.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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