woman with PTSD

Can PTSD Qualify You for SSD?

Whether you bore witness to a violent crime, were deployed overseas in the military, or endured treatment for cancer, when you go through a traumatic experience, it can have a long-lasting effect on you. 

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, commonly referred to as “PTSD,” is a mental health condition that often manifests itself through uncontrollable thoughts about the event, nightmares, flashbacks, and severe anxiety. What you might not know is that you have the opportunity to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD).

PTSD is often a co-occurring condition. In other words, many people experience another mental disorder at the same time. This may include disorders such as anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders, major affective disorders, personality disorders, dementia, and dysthymia. 

Symptoms of PTSD

To help gauge whether or not you are suffering from PTSD, there are several things to look for. Common symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, distorted feelings, difficulty sleeping, angry outbursts, negative thoughts, and avoidance of any and all things related to the traumatic event that lasts for more than a month or are severe. 

For example, if you were previously deployed in an active war zone and though back on U.S. soil experience issues sleeping, heightened anxiety, and jump whenever a car backfires, there is a very good chance that you may be suffering from PTSD. 

It’s also necessary to point out that children can also experience PTSD, although girls experience it more often than boys. This correlates to women who experience PTSD at a higher rate than men. Just because you don’t suffer from the symptoms of PTSD at present doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer from them down the road. It can take years for some people to experience symptoms after a traumatic event.  

What Can You Do?

Sometimes you may experience an increase in the intensity of your symptoms because of outside life stressors. However, all hope is not lost. There are a variety of treatments that can help to lessen the symptoms of your PTSD such as EMDR therapy and psychotherapy as well as antidepressants.

It is extremely important to note that if you are having suicidal thoughts you should seek help immediately. To call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline simply dial 9-8-8-. If you believe that you are a risk to yourself call 9-1-1- right away. 

PTSD is a listed as a medical condition under 12.15 and 112.15 in the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability bluebook. While PTSD is an accepted condition for SSD, simply having it does not make you eligible. You must also be able to prove that the condition is causing you to be unable to work. 

The PA SSD Attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP Can Help

When you are struggling with a disability that prevents you from working, you may not know what to do. Luckily, the attorneys at Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your ability to make ends meet. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!