Debilitating stress or exhaustion caused by an individual’s work may qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits. An overly demanding occupation, such as working in the health care industry, may lead to an injury or condition that requires medical attention.

According to a study of more than 7,000 participants, employees experiencing burnout have a higher chance of visiting an emergency room and taking sick days. As reported by Gallup, when an employee’s performance begins to suffer because of stress, he or she may ignore the symptoms thinking it is “part of the job.”

Stress may lead to serious physical or mental health problems 

Employees who fail to treat symptoms of stress or burnout may eventually develop a serious condition. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress may cause high blood pressure, headaches and anxiety. An individual’s mood may also change, which leads to poor work performance.

The vicious cycle begins when burned-out employees push harder to accomplish tasks. Instead of improving their work performance, however, the stress level may intensify and show itself in physical symptoms. Ignoring such ailments over time may result in a sudden inability to perform normal job tasks.

When to apply for Social Security disability insurance 

If a medical condition prevents an employee from successfully carrying out regular work tasks, he or she may apply for SSDI benefits. An employee may qualify to receive financial assistance for the time off required to seek treatment, rehabilitation and recovery.

As noted by US News & World Report, payroll taxes fund SSDI, and the credits earned from each year of working qualify employees for benefits. An employee must have earned 20 credits within 10 years of developing his or her disability to have attained eligibility.