If a person’s agoraphobia meets the criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and significantly impacts their ability to work or function, they may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

However, eligibility for disability benefits depends on meeting specific medical and non-medical criteria, including work history and financial need. (Get detailed insights on how many work credits you require for SSDI)

Is Agoraphobia A Disability Under The ADA?

Agoraphobia may qualify for disability if it significantly impairs a person’s ability to perform major life activities, such as working, interacting with others, or engaging in normal daily activities. These individuals may also experience panic attacks in public places.

In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in various areas, including employment, public accommodations, and government services. To be recognized as a disability under the ADA, agoraphobia must substantially limit one or more major life activities.

Can You Get Disability Benefits For Agoraphobia?

Yes, it is possible to obtain Social Security disability benefits for agoraphobia if the condition meets the criteria set forth in the Social Security Administration (SSA) Blue Book for disability eligibility. 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a fundamental percentage of American adults struggle with agoraphobia annually. Women who happen to be between 20 to 40 years old tend to experience this disorder in comparison to women of other ages. It mainly develops as a panic disorder then a separate condition.

What Is Agoraphobia?

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by fear of situations or places that might cause embarrassment, panic attacks, or feeling trapped. People with agoraphobia tend to avoid places or situations where they fear they might be unable to escape or find help if they experience intense anxiety or panic. 

Commonly avoided situations include crowded places, public transportation, open spaces, and outside the home alone. Some of the fundamental forms of anxiety disorders are as follows:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD )
  • Social Phobia 

Types Of Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is generally classified into different types based on the specific situations or places that trigger fear and avoidance. The types of agoraphobia include:

  • Fear of Open Spaces: This type involves a fear of open or wide spaces, such as parks, parking lots, or large public areas, where the individual may feel vulnerable and unable to find safety.
  • Fear of Crowded Places: Some individuals with agoraphobia may fear being in crowded places, such as shopping malls, concerts, or public transportation, where they might feel overwhelmed and unable to escape.
  • Fear of Being Alone Outside the Home: This type involves a fear of leaving the safety of one’s home and being alone in public places, which can trigger anxiety and panic.
  • Fear of Using Public Transportation: People with this type of agoraphobia fear using public transportation, such as buses, trains, or airplanes, due to the perceived lack of control and the potential for panic attacks.
  • Fear of Being in Enclosed Spaces: Some may fear being in enclosed spaces like elevators, tunnels, or rooms without accessible exits, leading to avoidance behaviors.
  • Fear of Leaving Home: This type involves a fear of leaving one’s home altogether, leading to significant isolation and confinement to the safety of the home environment.

Symptoms Of Agoraphobia

The symptoms of agoraphobia can vary from person to person but generally involve intense anxiety and fear related to specific situations or places. Common symptoms of agoraphobia include:

  • Avoidance Behavior: Avoidance of the feared situations or places to prevent feelings of panic or anxiety. This can lead to a restricted lifestyle and difficulty engaging in everyday activities.
  • Panic Attacks: Individuals with agoraphobia often experience panic attacks, which are sudden and intense episodes of fear or discomfort.
  • Physical Symptoms: Physical symptoms can accompany anxiety or panic attacks, such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and nausea.
  • Anxiety in Anticipation: Anxiety or distress when anticipating or thinking about going to the feared places or situations.
  • Dependence on Others: Relying on others for support or assistance to go to certain
  • Isolation: Avoiding social situations and becoming increasingly isolated due to fear, anxiety, and depression.

How Can I Prove My Agoraphobia Disability Leaves Me Unable To Work?

The health provider’s opinion is essential for your Social Security case. It is because SSA gives special consideration to the opinion given by your doctor. (Learn more about what happens when you see a disability doctor?)

They give an honest review of your limitations relating to your work by filling out the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. This form will mention the following things:

  • interact appropriately with the public
  • maintain focus and attention
  • maintain appropriate attendance in your work
  • how you are handling stressful situations
  • how you are following simple instructions and complex instructions

How To Apply For Disability Benefits For Agoraphobia?

To apply for Social Security benefits for agoraphobia, follow these steps:

  • Gather Medical Records: Collect all medical records related to your agoraphobia, including diagnoses, treatment history, medications, and evaluations
  • Document Functional Limitations: Detail how agoraphobia affects your daily life, work, and ability to perform basic activities.
  • Complete the Application: Complete the disability benefits application online through the Social Security Administration website or by visiting a local SSA office. 
  • Follow Up: After submitting your application, stay in touch with the SSA and respond promptly to any requests for additional information.

What Is The Agoraphobia Disability Check Amount?

The agoraphobia disability check amount may vary depending on the individual’s condition. However, an individual may get $3,627 for Social Security Disability Insurance and $914 for Supplemental Security Income benefits for agoraphobia every month in 2023. The average amount may be nearly $1232 for mental disorders.

Eligibility Criteria Of The SSA For Agoraphobia Disability

To be considered eligible for disability benefits based on agoraphobia, the following conditions must be met:

  • Medical Evidence: There must be comprehensive medical evidence, including diagnoses, treatment history, and evaluations from qualified healthcare professionals, supporting the existence and severity of agoraphobia.
  • Duration of Disability: The symptoms of agoraphobia must have lasted or been expected to last 12 months or more.
  • Inability to Work: The agoraphobia must be severe enough to prevent the individual from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA), defined as earning a certain amount of income through work.
  • Medically Determinable Impairment: The agoraphobia must be a medically determinable impairment recognized by the SSA and supported by objective medical evidence.

What Happens If You Meet The SSA’s Eligibility Criteria For agoraphobia?

If your agoraphobia meets the criteria mentioned in the Blue Book of the SSA, the next step is to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits. You must consult with a disability attorney who will help you gather the necessary documentation and medical records that may help to prove your disability to the SSA. 

What Happens If You Do Not Meet The Criteria Of the SSA Of Agoraphobia?

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria of the SSA, you will not be considered eligible for Agoraphobia disability benefits

If the SSA determines that your agoraphobia does not meet their disability eligibility criteria, your disability claim for benefits based on agoraphobia will be denied.  (Learn more about reasons for disability benefits denial)

The SSA’s decision can be appealed if you believe it was made in error or if your medical condition worsens over time. You may want to seek help from a Social Security disability lawyer to navigate the application and appeals process effectively. 

Disability Conditions That May Qualify For Benefits

Blindness Brain Tumor AFIB Autism
BPD Cancer Narcolepsy PTSD
Vertigo Schizophrenia Seizure Dyslexia
Celiac Disease Anxiety Depression ADHD
Agoraphobia Alopecia Asthma Bipolar
Breast Cancer Dementia Dysautonomia Epilepsy
Fibromyalgia Hearing Loss lupus POTS
Scoliosis Sleep Apnea Diabetes