Social Security Disability for PTSD

Social Security Disability for PTSD

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as battle fatigue or shell shock, is a form of anxiety triggered by a past traumatic event. Typically, people who develop PTSD witness or experience events that cause horror, fear, or helplessness. 

However, regular trauma doesn’t always cause this disorder. Most people with PTSD cannot recover from symptoms or develop effective coping methods for their trauma. In addition, their symptoms usually worsen over time and severely interfere with their lives.

PTSD does not only affect war survivors or military veterans either. Anyone who experiences rape, violence, abuse, a natural disaster, or other traumatic event is at risk for PTSD.

Disability for PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of PTSD usually begin within three months after a traumatic event. However, some people may experience a delayed onset of symptoms, which could develop years after the event. Typically, something happens in the victim’s daily life to trigger a memory of the event, causing great amounts of stress. People with PTSD usually have a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Upsetting dreams;
  • Flashbacks;
  • Emotional numbness;
  • Hopelessness;
  • Difficulty with memory;
  • Lack of concentration;
  • Avoiding thoughts about the traumatic event;
  • Angry outbursts;
  • Irritability;
  • Feelings of guilt or shame;
  • Trouble sleeping;
  • Self-destructive behavior (over/under-eating, drug abuse, excessive drinking, etc.);
  • Easily startled or scared;
  • Hallucinations; and
  • Inability to maintain close relationships.

In addition, PTSD also puts people at risk for other health problems, including heart disease, chronic pain, depression, and arthritis.

Treatment for PTSD

Ideally, PTSD should be treated soon after the symptoms start. Common treatments include therapy, counseling, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing.

Can You Get Social Security Disability For PTSD?

What do you need to do to get social security disability for PTSD? PTSD is a condition that can make it impossible for you to deal with working so it is something that disability will cover. But, you have to meet the right conditions for social security to work with you.

First of all, you have to be able to prove that you have PTSD if you want to get disability payments that help you cover your bills and anything you need to purchase. This is why you’re going to want to go see a psychiatrist and a therapist so you have a record of what you’re going through. You can’t just decide one day that you think that you have this condition. A professional is going to have to diagnose you so that way there’s proof that you are disabled and need the help of social security to live your life.

How to Qualify for PTSD Disability Benefits

To qualify for PTSD disability benefits, you must satisfy the Social Security Administrations Blue Book listing under “Anxiety Disorders.” This means that you must meet the requirements of Part A and either Part B or Part C.

Under Part A, your medical records must document at least one of the following:

  1. You can recall a traumatic experience;
  2. You have recurring compulsions or obsessions;
  3. You show an irrational fear of an activity, situation, or object that constantly causes you to avoid the activity, situation, or object;
  4. You have severe panic attacks at least once per week, which includes intense apprehension, fear, terror, or feelings of impending doom; and/or
  5. You experience generalized persistent anxiety with at least three of the following symptoms: autonomic hyperactivity, apprehensive expectation, motor tension, or vigilance and scanning behavior.

Under Part B, your medical records must document at least two of the following:

    1. Your normal daily activities are restricted due to your disorder;
    2. You have difficulty maintaining social functioning;
    3. You have difficulty maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; and/or
    4. You have worsening psychiatric symptoms with extended duration.

Under Part C, your medical records must prove that your PTSD prevents you from functioning outside of your own home.

When you present your disability claim, you should include any medical records that describe a reaction or episode of your PTSD. This includes the severity, duration, and frequency of the reaction and how it affects your daily ability to function.

Why You Should Hire a Disability Advocate for Your PTSD Social Security Disability Claim

It’s a good idea to work with a disability advocate that can help you get things in order for you to get disability payments. One thing you have to remember, however, is that you’re going to have to pay them out of the back pay that you get from the government. But, if you don’t have their help then you’re going to have a hard time winning your case because you won’t know what to do if you are denied. When you have help, even if you get denied they can help you with an appeal or two so you still have a chance.

When you’re disabled, it can be hard to work on getting all of the paperwork in order that you need to get approved for disability. This is why you need to work with an advocate that can collect the evidence you need to get approved. If you are asked to sign something so that your records can be sent to your advisor, then you need to do so right away so you can get them the proof they need. The longer you wait to get things in order, the longer the social security office will take to approve you.

You’re not going to get disability the first time you try a lot of the time. This is especially true if you have a mental condition because they are going to need a lot of proof before they will grant you any benefits. The good news is that even if you are denied the first couple of times, you can keep appealing, and eventually they will work with you. Think of it as them filtering out people that are not serious and then you can see that if you take it seriously and keep working with them you will eventually get help.

You now know more about social security disability for PTSD. This is a condition that a lot of people have from traumatic events they have gone through. If you have PTSD and cannot work due to it, then make sure you work with a disability specialist to get things started for you.

Need Help Getting Your Disability Claim Approved?

If you or a loved one need help getting your disability claim approved, contact a GAR Disability Advocate today for a free consultation.

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