When many individuals hear the term disability, they immediately think of physical ailments. However, the reality is that a variety of severe mental health conditions exist as well, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Can you receive disability for PTSD? How should you apply? We will go over the process below.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe medical condition that might limit your capacity to work. If this transpires, you may qualify for Social Security disability for PTSD.
Unfortunately, proving that you have PTSD and therefore qualify for Social Security disability may be challenging. Among these symptoms are the following:
Memories that are intrusive:
Flashbacks, nightmares, and reliving a traumatic incident all have the potential to impair one’s potential to function properly in daily life. If these memories are intense, they might lead you to lose sleep and avoid interaction with the outside world.
Avoidance and numbing of the emotions:
This group of PTSD symptoms is connected with how you perceive and interact with your environment. For instance, you may make considerable efforts to avoid discussing or even thinking about the triggering incident. Additionally, you may notice difficulties with memory and focus. Personal connections may be challenging, and you may feel pessimistic about the future.
Anxiety or impulsive behavior:
Additionally, PTSD might impair your emotional reactions to regular events. For example, you may experience unreasonable anger, difficulty sleeping, being easily frightened, or even seeing and hearing things that are not there. You may experience defeat as a result of guilt or regret and may even engage in self-destructive actions.
Any of these symptoms, if severe enough, might constitute a disability. Due to the difficulty in documenting PTSD symptoms, many qualified candidates are refused Social Security disability compensation.
Qualifying For Disability For PTSD
Social Security may determine your disability based on PTSD in two ways. The first step is for you to meet the conditions of Social Security’s new PTSD disability listing. The second option is to apply for a “medical-vocational allowance” by demonstrating that your limitations prohibit you from working full-time.
PTSD was added to the disability listings in 2017 as listing 12.15, Trauma- and stressor-related conditions. To be eligible for the listing, you must have medically documented evidence of the following:
- Exposure to death or danger of death, significant harm, or violence
- Subsequent unintentional re-enactment of the tragic incident (for example, intrusive memories, dreams, or flashbacks)
- Avoidance of outside reminders of the events
- Disturbances in mood and behavior
- “Arousal and reactivity” levels rise (for example, exaggerated startle response, sleep disturbance).
In addition to demonstrating the above, you must demonstrate that you have severe or profound limits in particular areas. You must have a severe restriction in one of the following categories or a “marked” (severe) limitation in two of the following:
- Adjusting or controlling oneself (governing one’s emotions, adapting to changes, possessing practical personal skills such as cooking, cleaning, and dressing appropriately)
- Conversing with others (in socially appropriate ways)
- Focusing attention on tasks (being able to finish work at a reasonable pace)
- Gaining knowledge, comprehending it, and remembering it (including following instructions and applying new knowledge to tasks).
If you don’t presently have any extreme or severe limits in the above areas because you live in a highly protected or monitored environment or are receiving intensive rehabilitation, you may produce specific documents to meet the listing requirements. You must demonstrate:
- Your PTSD has been severe and chronic for at least two years.
- You are getting continuing medical treatment or mental health therapy or living in a highly structured or protected environment.
- Your adaptability is fragile, which means you have a limited capacity to adapt to changes or new demands.
Suppose you do not meet the requirements of the listing. In that case, you may still be eligible for benefits through a medical-vocational allowance, which is a type of approval that takes into account your work history, age, education, and Residual Functional Capacity, or what you can do despite all of your impairments.
Hire A Skilled Disability Attorney
Do you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? If this is the case, contact The Law Offices Of Karen Kraus Bill for assistance in collecting the SSDI payments you deserve. Applying for SSDI benefits is a stressful and challenging process that you should not go through alone. Allow us to help you through the processes and fight hard to get the SSDI benefits you are legally entitled to.
If your Disability for PTSD claim has been denied, our attorneys may also help you in appealing the SSA’s decision. Contact The Law Offices Of Karen Kraus Bill to schedule a free evaluation of your case.