For some people, mental illness is a debilitating disability that impacts one’s ability for gainful employment. For this reason, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can be the basis of a Social Security Disability claim.
PTSD is a complex condition that can impact your ability to work. If you are applying for Social Security Disability, keep reading to see what steps you need to take.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that typically develops after an individual has experienced something traumatic. Individuals with PTSD may have experienced military combat, sexual assault, abuse, or even a natural disaster.
Symptoms of PTSD may include intense flashbacks and panic attacks. Some people experience anxiety, fear, irritability, insomnia, and memory issues. If left untreated, the symptoms may worsen. Some people with PTSD may re-experience the traumatic event.
In some cases, the most apparent symptom of PTSD may be avoidance. As a result, individuals with the condition may not communicate well or may have general detachment issues.
In general, individuals with PTSD may struggle to work in areas that are loud or physical. They may also struggle to work in situations that may involve physical contact with other people. This can pose a challenge for many people who have skills or experience in jobs which involve people skills.
If you find yourself unable to work, you have options. One such choice is Social Security Disability. If you have yet to be diagnosed, make an appointment with a mental health professional before you get started on the rest of the application process.
Who Is Eligible for Social Security Disability for PTSD?
Individuals who are unable to participate in substantial gainful activity may be eligible for Social Security Disability. Gainful activity includes working for profit. If you are unable to support yourself, you may be the perfect applicant for Social Security Disability because of your condition.
You must also be able to provide evidence that you live with severe or extreme limitations based on the symptoms of your condition. For instance, perhaps you struggle to manage your emotions, adapt to changes, interact with others in socially appropriate ways, or learn new information.
You will also benefit from demonstrating that your PTSD is serious and persistent. Perhaps you are undergoing medical treatment or therapy for the mental illness and have evidence of such treatment.
How Can You Receive Social Security Disability for PTSD?
From reading about the eligibility for PTSD, you’ve learned that documentation is crucial. Collect any medical evidence of PTSD including inpatient and outpatient treatment or clinical notes. You might also have success with collecting third-party statements, even from former co-workers or employers.
You may have a better chance of receiving benefits for PTSD if you can also provide evidence of other mental or physical health issues. For instance, you might have PTSD on top of a physical condition caused by the same traumatic event. The combination of conditions may cement your eligibility as a Social Security Disability applicant.
After you submit the required information, the Social Security Disability office will examine your information to determine if you are a good candidate. This process can feel demanding, so it helps if you have assistance submitting the information.
What Should You Do Next?
Once you have received a medical diagnosis of PTSD, you should consult with a professional who understands Social Security Disability. Work closely with this professional to have the best possibility of collecting the disability payments you deserve.
If you are ready to get started, Horn and Kelley, PC, is ready to hear from you. Call our offices today to learn more about the process of applying for Social Security Disability and your eligibility for receiving benefits after a PTSD diagnosis.