Being overworked and under-rested is the norm in the United States. Most of us have difficulty disconnecting from our jobs. Some of us need to work several jobs just to make ends meet, which greatly reduces any rest and relaxation time we might otherwise enjoy.
If allowed to continue for too long, this constant stress and overexertion can lead to burnout. You may be wondering: Is this a condition that qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits? That’s what we’ll discuss in today’s post.
Burnout is not a medical diagnosis, but it can have serious effects on your physical and mental health. Physical consequences can include stress-related inflammation and pain, insomnia, frequent colds and other illnesses and the development of unhealthy stress-coping mechanisms (like drinking). Mental health issues include emotional exhaustion, depression and cynicism.
Unfortunately, because burnout is not a recognized medical diagnosis, it would be very difficult to qualify for SSD benefits citing burnout on your application. That being said, you could potentially list “stress” or “anxiety” as disabling conditions. But they would need to meet the same criteria as other medical diagnoses. Ask yourself these questions:
- Has your stress/anxiety kept you from working for at least 12 months (or will it keep you from working for that long)?
- Have you been treated by a doctor or mental health professional for your stress/anxiety, including in the past 90 days?
- Are there available medical records you could submit showing your treatment for stress/anxiety?
Social Security Disability benefits are hard to qualify for in many cases, and legitimate claims are often denied the first time they are submitted. Seeking benefits for stress/burnout isn’t impossible, but it should be done with the help of an experienced Social Security Disability attorney who can assist you in presenting the strongest claim for why you deserve benefits.