The Social Security Administration defines obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. Those who meet this definition of the mental health condition may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
SSA categorizes OCD with generalized and other anxiety disorders.
SSA requires evidence of OCD
SSA will seek medical evidence to assess an individual’s OCD. The agency will review several factors, including medical, psychological and psychiatric records. SSA will also consider a person’s medications, therapies and other treatments. Officials may ask permission to gather information from others. A person’s family, friends and medical team may provide input.
SSA will also determine whether OCD affects someone’s day-to-day activities, including work. Has the individual’s employer offered a reduced work schedule or other accommodations? Do job evaluations reveal an impaired ability to perform job responsibilities?
Individuals with OCD share common symptoms
The National Institute of Mental Health describes symptoms of OCD.
A person with this condition may have obsessions. These often take the form of uncontrollable, reoccurring mental images or thoughts. These thoughts may focus on a fear of germs or insistence on putting things in perfect order. Thoughts may also revolve around harm or taboo subjects.
People with this condition usually struggle to control their thoughts or behaviors. They may try to manage their thoughts with compulsions or repetitive behaviors. Behaviors may include excessive handwashing or compulsive counting. Individuals may also have the urge to arrange items in a certain order. Both the thoughts and behaviors may interfere with daily life.
Individuals with OCD may share common risk factors. Experts have found possible links to genetics, childhood trauma and brain structure.
Health professionals may prescribe medications to treat patients with OCD. Therapists may use varied strategies to help patients control their symptoms.