Being approved for Social Security Disability with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common affliction that affects many New Jersey residents, as well as millions of people across the U.S. According to America's Heroes at Work, around 8 percent of the U.S.'s population can experience PTSD during their lives. Among this estimate of 24 million people, those most at risk are women and military veterans. In fact, one in five veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq can suffer from PTSD symptoms.

HelpGuide.org says the sense of pervasive danger and painful memories and flashbacks associated with PTSD usually develop soon after a traumatic event, but they can also take weeks, months or even years to surface.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it can be extremely difficult to manage everyday life with PTSD, which includes social interactions and even work. Those with PTSD can also develop other problems, such as depression and suicidal tendencies.

Challenges of being approved for benefits with PTSD

HealMyPTSD.com says it can be hard to prove PTSD. The Americans with Disabilities Act doesn't have a set list of criteria for PTSD symptoms; rather, each person is evaluated on a case by case basis and some people with PTSD can qualify as disabled while others may not.

The Social Security Administration requires at least one of the following symptoms, documented by medical professionals, in order to be considered disabled by PTSD:

  • Having a traumatic experience, recurring obsessions, compulsions or an irrational fear of a situation, object or activity that compels the sufferer to avoid it
  • Severe panic attacks at least once a week or generalized persistent anxiety with symptoms such as shortness of breath, trembling, rapid heart rate and impaired concentration
  • Normal daily activities restricted
  • Marked difficulties with work or social functioning

These are only a few of the vast array of symptoms that can make up a person's suffering from PTSD that can restrict his or her ability to work.

Getting help from an attorney

The broad range of symptoms and difficulties that PTSD sufferers face mean that eventually relief can be found, because a case can be proven with proper documentation from medical professionals. The challenges surrounding PTSD are difficult enough without the added stress of working and facing social situations for which you may not be ready.

If you've been denied a claim for Social Security Disability and have PTSD, it can help to contact a disability attorney with experience in PTSD cases.