Most Californians have heard of “post traumatic stress disorder,” or its short form “PTSD.” In its most extreme forms, PTSD can have a severely disruptive effect on a person’s life and can limit or interfere with an individual’s ability to work. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are available to anyone who is prevented from engaging in substantial gainful activity by a mental or physical injury or condition. PTSD is one of the mental conditions that may allow a person to obtain SSDI benefits. In this post, we will review the symptoms that are necessary to qualify for SSD benefits based upon PTSD.
PTSD most often is caused by witnessing or experiencing an event that causes intense fear or anxiety. These events commonly include jarring and deeply affecting experiences such as childhood abuse, rape, physical violence (either experienced or observed) or natural catastrophes such as violent storms.
The Social Security Administration classifies PTSD as an “anxiety-related disorder.” A person seeking SSDI benefits for PTSD must provide medically documented findings of a generalized persistent anxiety; a persistent irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation; recurrent panic attacks; distressing and recurrent obsessions or compulsions; or recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience. The symptoms must result in marked restrictions in the activities of daily living, difficulties in maintaining social relationships, difficulty in concentrating or the inability to function independently outside one’s home. The applicant must also prove that the symptoms interfere with the ability to perform substantial gainful activity.
Anyone who feels that he or she or a loved one may be suffering from the symptoms of PTSD and that the symptoms are causing an inability to work may wish to consult a lawyer who specializes in handling SSDI claims. A knowledgeable attorney can provide an analysis of a person’s eligibility for benefits, assist in filing a claim and prosecute an appeal if a claim is initially denied.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – 12.06 Anxiety-related Disorders,” accessed on Oct. 10, 2016