PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that develops after a person is exposed to a traumatic experience. Symptoms of PTSD can be severe enough to interfere with a person’s quality of life. In these cases, sufferers may be eligible to receive social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits.

SSDI benefits allow disabled individuals to pay for their basic necessities. The insurance program is managed by the federal government and funded by paycheck deductions. Anyone who has worked a minimum number of years based on their age is eligible for these benefits if they suffer from a long-term disability. The benefits are earned while a person works, so disabled individuals should not hesitate to take advantage of SSDI.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops when a person has been exposed to a traumatic experience. When a person has been harmed physically or has been threatened, PTSD can develop as a result. People who witness another person being harmed or threatened may also develop the condition. Examples of incidents that can trigger PTSD include rape, kidnapping, car accidents and natural disasters. Veterans may also suffer from PTSD in relation to experiences they have had while serving in the military.

PTSD is a unique mental health concern because it changes the brain and body chemistry permanently. The frontal lobe of the brain actually shrinks, and levels of the hormone catecholamine are high when a person has PTSD.

People who suffer from this condition are usually treated by a mental health professional. Cognitive therapy is beneficial for many sufferers, and some people who have PTSD do well in group therapy sessions with other people who have experienced a traumatic event. Depending on the mental health issues that have resulted from the condition, some people with PTSD need to take antidepressant or antipsychotic medications.

Can You Get Disability For PTSD?

People who suffer from PTSD may be eligible for SSDI benefits if they meet the requirements outlined under the disability listing maintained by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This listing applies to people who have anxiety disorders. The sufferer must have ongoing flashbacks, memories or nightmares that cause great distress that makes it difficult for a person to complete routine tasks. Sufferers may also be eligible if they experience panic attacks, phobias or generalized anxiety.

Disabled individuals who do not meet these requirements may still be eligible for benefits. These sufferers are required to prove that the symptoms of their condition make it impossible for them to work in any position for which they are qualified. PTSD can cause symptoms like ongoing fatigue due to sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating, and these symptoms may interfere with a person’s ability to complete job tasks.

Whether a person applies through the SSA listing or has to provide additional proof in order to qualify, evidence from mental health providers and medical professionals is necessary. Individuals should seek regular treatment for their condition and must ensure that their healthcare providers keep a thorough record of the date of diagnosis, symptoms and treatment methods that have been used.

Getting Help From an Attorney

Anyone who is applying for SSDI benefits should consult with an attorney to make the application process easier. Ensuring that the proper forms and medical records are submitted can be difficult for people who are suffering from an ongoing disability. Many first-time applications are denied due to errors made during the application process. An experienced SSDI attorney takes the burden off of the shoulders of the disabled individual and works hard to pursue the SSDI benefits that their clients need to make ends meet.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.