Personalized Attention From An

Qualifying for social security disability with PTSD

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Social Security Disability Benefits For Mental Conditions

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. For many, PTSD can be debilitating, affecting their ability to perform daily activities. It can also hinder their ability to work, which can cause financial strain. Therefore, it is important to know how those with PTSD can qualify for government assistance.

Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes the severity and impact of PTSD. Consequently, individuals with PTSD may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify, their condition must meet specific criteria.

First, you must prove PTSD severely limits your ability to function in a work environment. Evidence should show difficulty concentrating, remembering information, and interacting with others.

The SSA also requires detailed medical evidence demonstrating your experience with PTSD. This includes a formal diagnosis of PTSD from a qualified healthcare professional. It also requires medical records with comprehensive documentation of symptoms. This documentation should note symptoms like nightmares, severe anxiety, and avoidance behaviors.

After you submit this information, the SSA begins the evaluation process. The SSA uses a five-step evaluation process to determine eligibility for disability benefits:

  • Step 1: Determine if you are currently working and earning more than the substantial gainful activity threshold. If you are, you may not qualify for benefits.
  • Step 2: Assess whether PTSD significantly limits your ability to perform work activities.
  • Step 3: Check if your PTSD meets the criteria outlined in the SSA’s listing of impairments. If it does, you may qualify automatically.
  • Step 4: Evaluate whether you can perform any of your past work given your current limitations.
  • Step 5: Consider whether you can adjust to other work based on your age, education, and work experience.

Gathering supporting evidence

To strengthen your claim, it is crucial to provide comprehensive medical evidence. This includes treatment records from therapists, psychiatrists, and other healthcare providers. Written statements from family and friends can also help. Statements should describe how PTSD affects your daily life and ability to work. Additionally, include documentation of how PTSD has impacted your performance in past jobs.

Advocating for your health and rights

Qualifying for disability benefits with PTSD involves more than just meeting criteria. It’s about advocating for your health and your rights. Exploring your eligibility for PTSD benefits can provide vital support and financial stability. Navigating the application process can be daunting, but persistence is key. Staying informed and proactive enhances your chances of receiving the benefits you need. This will empower you to better manage your condition and maintain your quality of life.

FindLaw Network