Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a serious and often debilitating disease that affects Americans of various age groups and backgrounds. Faced by former members of the military, fire departments, police forces, the victims of violent crimes, or others, this ailment is increasingly researched and prevalent in society. Below you can read about how the SSA deals with these cases and how if you are suffering the effects of PTSD a disability claim can be justified.
How PTSD is Defined by Social Security
Post traumatic stress is a complicated diagnosis based on severe issues in one’s past. The Social Security Administration defines PTSD under its listings of mental issues. Found under listing 12.06, it is listed under a series of anxiety disabilities. The SSA defines being PTSD as facing “recurrent and intrusive” memories or effects due to past traumatic stressed. When coupled with the disease causing a person unable to continue normal daily activities, normal social interaction, inability to concentrate or keep mental tasks, inability to keep work, or in the most extreme case being unable to function outside of the home, then the person is disabled. These are severe and life-altering issues that should be strongly considered by the SSA with the assistance of a determined disability attorney.
PTSD Statistics are Growing
Mental and emotional issues are the number 5 cause of disability claims in the United States today. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder afflicts 3.5% of the adult population. Unlike many other disabling conditions, the average age of PTSD is significantly younger– just 23 years old. Almost 8 million Americans are affected, many of whom have military experience. Other factors, such as childhood trauma and even genetics affect how PTSD manifests in adults.
When dealing with a PTSD diagnosis, there are multiple treatments for it, but many are not complete. There are extensive therapy options for people that are afflicted, often speaking to a specialist on a regular basis. Drugs, such as zoloft, and paxil are also prescribed to deal with symptoms. These drugs can often cause side effects, some of which make people unable to work or function socially.
How to Determine if You Qualify for a Social Security Disability Claim
There are many issues that can help determine if you are eligible for disability. Many are not immediately quantifiable, and are based on a series of complicated factors. Some are medical records, well-documented cases of issues, and an attorney willing and able to research how these coalesce around the case law. Below are some recommendations and statistics that are relevant to these types of cases.
Social Security Listing 12.00 Can Provide Guidance for Your Claim
Every Social Security Disability claim is different and unique, but the guidelines in the Social Security Administration code can be helpful to determine if you are eligible. Listed under anxiety disorders, PTSD is among the most serious. If faced with such a diagnosis, the SSA needs to know if you also suffer from the following– and if two are found, then you are disabled:
1. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or
2. Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or
3. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or
4. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.
Or just one at its most severe: C. Resulting in complete inability to function independently outside the area of one’s home.
How to Help Yourself Win a Social Security Benefit Claim for PTSD
When diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, multiple steps are necessary towards winning a claim at the SSA. Keeping meticulous medical records of your visits to doctors and specialists is vital. Writing down every time that the disorder has negatively affected your life, including times, dates, and witnesses, is helpful. Taking any medication meant to prevent severe outbursts or recurring thoughts. Visiting the therapist to speak about the issues, or even just have someone to listen to you can assist.
When all of these are not enough, and you are unable to function as you did before, a claim to the SSA may be necessary. An attorney that is experienced in disability law and the case study is essential to win a case. An attorney that can take the time and comprehensively gather the evidence means a greater chance for you to win and a better chance to get your life whole again.
About the Author
Anthony Castelli has 32 years experience and has won hundreds of disability applications for his clients. He offers a free consultation . If he takes your case he only gets a fee if you are awarded back benefits.