It is an unfortunate fact of life that people witness traumatic events on a daily basis-a situation that causes extreme stress, helplessness or fear within the person viewing the event. Many people recover from this trauma over time, but a number of people experience debilitating symptoms of a disorder known as post-traumatic-stress-disorder and cannot perform day to day functions anymore.
Many California residents may associate PTSD with combat situations and expect only veterans to suffer from the disorder, but this is not the case. The syndrome can affect survivors of rape, abuse, violence or even a catastrophic natural disaster such as flooding or hurricanes. Not only does PTSD have a psychological affect, increasing the risk of depression, drug addiction and suicide, it also has physical affects such as chronic pain and heart disease. Some of the symptoms psychologists are looking for when diagnosing PTSD are flashbacks or upsetting dreams about the traumatic event, feeling hopeless and avoiding activities, difficulty concentrating and visual or auditory hallucinations.
The Social Security Administration allows recovery of Social Security Disability benefits for PTSD under two heads-either by satisfying the criteria laid out in section 12 of the Blue Book that classifies qualifying medical conditions or by demonstrating a vocational allowance. Under the Blue Book, some of the disability claims could fall under various anxiety disorders and then there are a number of requirements that must be met to demonstrate eligibility, including a description of the anxiety being experienced. Most claims however are approved through the medical vocational allowance, if the SSA finds that the symptoms are not severe enough to meet their listing.
Filing a claim for PTSD may be overwhelming, especially because people do not want to recount the anxieties they are encountering and the process can eventually add to one’s anxiety. It may be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney who can explain and simplify the process for those who are deserving of the benefits and guide them through it.