Patients with Severe OCD Can Receive Social Security Benefits

Patients with Severe OCD Can Receive Social Security Benefits

Did you know if your OCD has become so severe to the point that it is extremely interfering with your performance at work or your personal life, you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits? When an individual has OCD, they are locked into a cycle of uncontrollable obsessive and compulsive behaviors, and this at some point can start to become unbearable and interfere with daily activities (Laurence 2016). The time it takes to perform these obsessive rituals can lead to spending hours a day trying to make sure the ritual was completed and that the feeling of something being wrong is temporarily eliminated. OCD can also lead to clinical depression, and for this reason, individuals with OCD are treated with antidepressant medications (Laurence 2016).

If one’s OCD starts to become so severe to the point that it impedes all aspects of daily life, both in work and at home, then one is eligible to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). According to Beth Laurence J.D., “your medical evidence will need to show that have frequent symptoms that adversely affect your social functioning, daily living activities, and/or the ability to concentrate and attend to tasks” (Laurence 2016). In other words, a person’s OCD has to interfere with one’s ability to concentrate in all areas of one’s life in order to qualify. To prove it is, there needs to be medical evidence that one cannot perform, for instance, at his or her job because the OCD is taking time away from the performance or one’s perfectionism compels the person to constantly recheck everything, which takes up more time that necessary (Laurence 2016). If the SSA sees that the person cannot do their job, then he or she will be asked to find another job in which their OCD does not interfere. This can be as simple as bagging groceries (Laurence 2016). However, if this is not possible, then along with strong medical evidence and ongoing treatment, you can qualify to receive disability benefits.

I found this to be extremely important, informative, and reassuring because the government is acknowledging OCD as a serious mental illness, something society lacks in addressing and handling. This is a step closer to understanding that mental illnesses are a real thing and people who suffer from this really do need assistance in some form. Providing Social Security benefits, I believe, is a positive approach in assisting those who suffer from the severity of this illness.


Laurence, B. (n.d.). Social Security Disability and SSI Benefits for OCD | Disability Secrets. Retrieved February 26, 2016, from

Sharmila Dass

My focus is to relate the social aspects of medicine to the everyday treatment of patients as physicians. I hope to learn about the underlying roots of illnesses with a stigma and raise awareness to these issues. Mental health is a prevalent issue in society and can be seen as "nonexistent" to some, especially in the South Asian community. I have witnessed depression in a few family members and close friends and want to learn as much as possible to help not only them, but others in the future. When I am not in class or studying, I love to dance and play tennis.

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