Is PTSD a disability? There is much debate over whether or not post traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD should be classified as a disability. Those who argue that it should be say that the condition significantly impairs an individual’s ability to function in daily life. They point to the high rates of unemployment and homelessness among those with PTSD, as well as the high levels of suicide associated with the disorder. However, others argue that PTSD does not meet the legal definition of a disability, and that many people who have it manage to live relatively normal lives. So which side is right? Let’s take a closer look at this controversial topic.
Anyone suffering from post traumatic stress disorder can experience a wide range of symptoms that can make it hard to go about their day-to-day lives. These symptoms can be grouped into four main categories: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in mood and thinking, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.
Intrusive thoughts are memories of the trauma that keep coming back, often when you least expect them. You may try to avoid anything that reminds you of the trauma, including people, places, activities, and even thoughts or conversation topics.
Negative changes in mood and thinking may include feeling hopeless, detached from others, or losing interest in activities you used to enjoy. You may also have difficulty concentrating or remembering details on certain aspects of the trauma.
Physical and emotional reactions may manifest as an exaggerated startle response, sleep disturbance, irritability, or hypervigilance.
Many people suffering from PTSD also experience actual or threatened death, a mental disorder or an anxiety disorder. If you have any stressor related disorders from post traumatic stress disorder, it is important to seek professional help. Treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy can be very effective in managing PTSD. The best way for you to get treatment for post traumatic stress disorder is to talk about it and ask for help. You are not alone, and approximately 10 to 20% of people who were in the military suffer from PTSD symptoms.
Common symptoms are found in a lot of patients with PTSD, but it is important to remember that no two people are the same. The traumatic event that you encountered isn’t necessarily the same as someone else, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t help you through it. Consider going to counseling or therapy if you’ve had a traumatic event that developed into PTSD.
Veterans Disability Benefits For PTSD
Veterans affairs will provides a number of services and benefits specifically for veterans with PTSD. These include counseling and therapy, medication, and case management. The VA also offers support groups and educational resources to help veterans cope with their symptoms. It is also possible to get disability benefits for PTSD from the VA. The VA has a standard practice of taking care of their people before, during, and after service. So whether you develop PTSD during active duty from a serious injury, or you develop PTSD after you’ve been discharged from the military, they are still available to help you treat PTSD.
The VA has a disability rating system that you use to qualify for compensation. Even if your service causes a post traumatic stress injury that is easily treated with medication, you can still qualify for 10% disability benefits. Any symptoms related to PTSD should be notified to your healthcare provider at the VA clinic to seek treatment.
If you are a veteran dealing with PTSD, know that you are not alone and that help is available. reach out to the VA today to learn more about the resources that are available to you.
Social Security Disability Benefits
It is very hard for someone to get a disability claim approved for a condition like PTSD. The process to claim disability benefits for PTSD can be a long and overwhelming process. The social security administration has many medical requirements to be approved for SSDI benefits. Your treating doctors will have to work closely on your PTSD disability claim to show that your traumatic experience has caused mental impairments and/or extreme limitation to your everyday life.
To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked at a job where you paid Social Security taxes and have a certain number of “work credits.” SSA’s work credit requirement is based on your total yearly earnings. You can earn up to four credits each year. The amount of money you need to earn to get a credit changes from year to year. There is no limit on the number of work credits you can earn. You can get them even if you become disabled before reaching retirement age. However, to qualify for SSDI based on your own disability, your illness must be so severe that it keeps you from doing any “substantial gainful activity” for at least one year or is terminal. If your PTSD prevents you from working or limits your earnings below these amounts, you may qualify for SSDI benefits.
If your PTSD doesn’t prevent you from working or if it began after you stopped working and you don’t have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits, all is not lost. You may still be able to get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments from the government. An SSI award isn’t based on your work history; it’s based on financial need. In order to qualify for SSI payments, your countable income and resources must fall below certain thresholds set by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
This means that even if your PTSD alone doesn’t prevent you from working and earning an income above the SSI threshold amount, other things such as depression or anxiety could push your total disability score high enough to qualify financially.
There are two types of way to get approved for benefits. One being medical disability; medical records that prove to the social security administration your symptoms are enough to find you disabled under it’s listing of disorder. The other way to get approved is through a medical vocational allowance. A medical vocational allowance means that you proved to the social security administration that your condition makes it impossible for you to do any job, meaning you will then be considered disabled.
To gather all this information, the social security administration will look at any and all paperwork they can to come to a conclusion on whether or not you should receive disability benefits. They will look at any medical treatment you may have had (or are currenting going through), medical health provider notes, and mental health therapy notes to show that your post traumatic stress disorder causes you daily harm in some form. Based of this information they will decide if your PTSD symptoms qualify you for disability benefits. To put it simply, you will not be considered disabled without going through every little bit of your medical records and without concrete proof of your disability.
Your best chance to get disability compensation is to work with a disability lawyer while filling out your disability application, as well as medical professionals who can provide sufficient medical documentation to prove that your PTSD hinders you from working. If you’re medical records, are properly medically documented, and there is medical evidence that you suffer from PTSD with extreme limitations to managing oneself and no longer have a stable work life, you may qualify for social security disability insurance or supplemental security income. Most disability lawyers will give a free consultation before taking your case. So, if you think that you may qualify for disability benefits, find a lawyer and make sure to take them hospital records, clinic notes, mental health provider notes, and any proof that you can that you deserve PTSD disability benefits. A social security disability claim can take months, if not years, to get approved, but with the help of a lawyer who agrees to take your case, you’ll be more likely to win any PTSD disability claims and get supplemental security income.
So Is PTSD A Disability?
There is no question that PTSD is a serious mental health condition with potentially debilitating effects. If you suffer from PTSD and believe your symptoms are preventing you from participating in major life activities, you may be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act and entitled to certain accommodations and protections at work, school, or in other aspects of your life.
While some people may think that PTSD isn’t really a disability, but the truth is that PTSD can make it very difficult for someone to function in everyday life. If you have PTSD, you may find it difficult to hold down a job or take care of your responsibilities. You may qualify for cash benefits if your PTSD hinders your from keeping a steady job, so don’t be afraid to apply. If you are struggling with PTSD, don’t hesitate to seek help from a doctor or therapist, even if you’re not applying for disability benefits. There is no shame in having PTSD, and there is no need to suffer in silence. You deserve to get the help you need so that you can start feeling better. Try using MilVet4Life to help you find resources to help you get the help you need.