6716 Heritage Business Ct #106 Chattanooga, TN 37421
PTSD and Social Security Disability Benefits
McCarthy, Murphy & Preslar, P.C.

PTSD and Social Security Disability Benefits

PTSD & Social Security Disability Benefits

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, occurs after either experiencing or seeing a traumatic life event. Those who suffer from PTSD often experience flashbacks and nightmares that can have a huge impact on their day-to-day life. Extreme cases of PTSD may cause individuals to experience fear of the event recurring and they may be easily startled because they are so on-edge. 

The diagnosis of PTSD comes from a psychiatrist or another mental health professional. Treatment for PTSD typically includes therapy, counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of different approaches. If you or a loved one is suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, our disability lawyer in Chattanooga can help. 

Two Ways to Approach Benefits for PTSD

Disability claims examiners look at applications for benefits in this realm in one of two ways. First, they may approve applicants who have medical records that meet the requirements. They may also approve applicants via a medical-vocational allowance. 

Medical Documentation

In order to prove your case, our disability lawyer in Chattanooga will help compile the following five pieces of evidence:

  • Exposure to death, serious injury or violence
  • Experiencing the event over again involuntarily often in the form of intrusive dreams, flashbacks, bad memories, etc.
  • Avoiding external reminders of the event
  • Overall disturbance in mood or behavior
  • An increase in arousal or reactivity such as sleep disturbances, an exaggerated startle response, etc.

Your medical evidence needs to outline at least one example of a typical PTSD “episode” that you experience. The frequency and duration of panic attacks should also be documented and your files should reflect that PTSD inhibits your ability to function at home or at work.

A psychologist or psychiatrist will diagnose you utilizing the above criteria. There also needs to be an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a severe limitation in two of the following areas:

  • The ability to concentrate on tasks to complete them at a reasonable speed
  • Interacting with other people in socially appropriate ways
  • Understanding, remembering or using information (ex: learning new things, applying newfound knowledge to tasks, etc.)
  • Adapting and managing oneself emotionally, physically and financially

From there, the Social Security Administration will determine whether or not you qualify for benefits. 

Medical-Vocational Allowance and PTSD

It’s also possible to receive benefits via a medical-vocational allowance. Most PTSD cases are not long or severe enough to qualify for benefits the traditional way but may be considered under a medical-vocational allowance. In this case, a mental consultant who works for the Social Security Administration needs to determine that the applicant has severe enough symptoms to prevent them from working. If there are multiple illnesses occurring at once, the chances of obtaining benefits increase. 

The Bottom Line: We Are Here to Help

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of applying for disability benefits for PTSD, know that our dedicated disability lawyer in Chattanooga can help you with every step of the process. Please reach out to our team at McCarthy, Murphy & Preslar, P.C. for assistance.

Further Resources:

NATIONAL CENTER for PTSD Home – Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that can occur after a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster. PTSD treatment can help.

PTSD: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Alliance –  A group of professional and advocacy organizations that have joined forces to provide educational resources to individuals diagnosed with PTSD and their loved ones; those at risk for developing PTSD; and medical, healthcare and other frontline professionals.

NAMI – Wonderful non-profit that offers support for a variety of mental illnesses, including PTSD.

For Veterans:

Veterans PTSD – Site is simple but has treatment ideas and stats.

Veterans PTSD Project – Aims to change the national conversation on Post-Traumatic Stress by collecting and publishing Service Members’ first-person.

SSA Wounded Warriors – Social Security Administrations site with specific info for our Wounded Warriors.

 

McCarthy, Murphy, & Preslar, P.C

6716 Heritage Business Ct #106 Chattanooga, TN 37421

info@disabilityfirm.net

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