Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that results when a person experiences a traumatic event. PTSD is commonly diagnosed in individuals who have survived natural disasters, mass-casualty accidents, terrorism, war, rape, domestic abuse, or criminal attacks. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes PTSD as a disabling disorder that qualifies certain individuals for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits if the effects are severe and persistent.

Victims of tragedy situations are thought to develop PTSD as a defense mechanism in response to the unusual amount of stress and fear involved. After the events, these survivors may experience difficulty returning to normal life, with mental/emotional problems, social/relationship issues, and even physical manifestations. People diagnosed with PTSD have typically undergone testing to determine a dysfunction with the way their body’s neurotransmitters receive and send messages between the brain and other areas of the body. PTSD can affect both adults and children, and may be permanent.

Disabling Effects of PTSD

Individuals who develop PTSD may have a hard time interacting with others and may lose the capability to hold down a job. People with PTSD may experience any of the following effects after a tragedy:

  • Flashbacks
  • Fear/paranoia
  • Low self-esteem
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Sensory-induced flashbacks
  • Social withdrawal
  • Isolation
  • Emotional stunting/detachment
  • Lack of interest
  • Dizziness
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory loss/repression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Hypervigilance
  • Irritability
  • Anger issues
  • “Survivor guilt”
  • Palpitations
  • Alcohol/drug dependency

Proving PTSD Disability

Post traumatic stress disorder can be difficult to diagnose, since the majority of the symptoms are psychological or emotional. The Social Security Administration will want to see proof that medical experts spent a significant amount of time with the patient in order to perform an accurate health evaluation. Thorough documentation of the symptoms and diagnostic tests will need to be submitted along with your SSD application.

If you hire a skilled SSD lawyer to help you apply for benefits, you won’t have to wonder whether you’re taking the proper steps. Your attorney can keep you right on track with deadlines and make sure you provide the SSA with all the necessary paperwork. In addition to maximizing your chances of being approved for benefits, your lawyer can also work to see that you get the ideal amount you need to make ends meet each month.

If you’re ready to talk to an experienced disability attorney, please search our legal directory to find a professional near you.