Yes, it is possible to obtain disability benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The process of applying for and receiving disability benefits for PTSD can be complex. Disability benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can provide financial support to individuals who are unable to work or have significant impairments due to the condition for at least 12 months or more.

To be eligible for disability benefits, individuals with PTSD typically need to provide medical documentation that confirms the diagnosis and demonstrates the severity of their symptoms and the resulting functional impairment. This may include medical records, treatment history, psychiatric evaluations, and statements from mental health professionals. 

It is important to have comprehensive and well-documented evidence that clearly establishes the impact of PTSD on your ability to work and perform daily activities. 

Is PTSD a disability?

Yes, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be considered a disability under the SSA’s criteria mentioned in listing 12.15 or 112.15. It can cause significant distress and impact a person’s daily functioning, including their ability to work and engage in social activities.

To determine eligibility for PTSD benefits, an applicant can apply for SSDI and SSI benefits. To establish disability due to PTSD, it is typically necessary to provide medical evidence and documentation demonstrating the condition’s severity and impact on your ability to work and carry out daily activities. 

PTSD is also a qualifying disability under the permanent VA Disability. PTSD is a severe disability that impacts mental abilities, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Veterans with such disorders may be eligible to pursue disability benefits.

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a mental health condition that an individual may experience after witnessing a traumatic event. Traumatic events can include but are not limited to military combat, sexual assault, natural disasters, and accidents. PTSD can affect individuals of all ages and can have a profound impact on their emotional well-being, thoughts, behaviors, and overall quality of life.

 It is a recognized mental health disorder that can be diagnosed and treated by qualified healthcare professionals. Treatment options for PTSD often include therapy, medication, and various forms of support. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, it is advisable to seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

The symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can vary from person to person but generally fall into four main categories: re-experiencing, avoidance, negative mood and cognition, and hyperarousal. 

Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Intrusive memories or flashbacks of the traumatic event.
  • Nightmares related to the trauma.
  • Intense emotional or physical reactions to reminders of the event.
  • Distressing or overwhelming memories that feel as though the event is happening again.

Avoidance symptoms:

  • Avoiding situations, places, or people that remind the person of the trauma.
  • Efforts to suppress or avoid thoughts or memories of the event.
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
  • Feeling emotionally numb or detached from others.

Negative mood and cognition symptoms:

  • Persistent negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world.
  • Persistent negative emotional states, such as fear, anger, or sadness.
  • Difficulty remembering key aspects of the traumatic event.
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, or self-blame related to the trauma.

Hyperarousal symptoms:

  • Hypervigilance or exaggerated startle response.
  • Feeling constantly on edge or easily irritated.
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping.
  • Engaging in reckless or self-destructive behaviors.

The following are some common qualifying conditions you may experience alongside PTSD are as follows: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Insomnia 

I am eligible for PTSD benefits. Now what?

The next step is to apply for PTSD disability benefits, which typically involve various steps discussed below.

  • Gather necessary documentation: Collect all relevant medical records, including diagnosis of PTSD, treatment history, and any supporting documentation from healthcare professionals.
  • Review eligibility criteria:  Understand the specific requirements related to PTSD and the level of impairment needed to qualify.
  • Complete the application: Fill out the disability benefits application form, providing accurate and detailed information about your condition, medical history, and functional limitations caused by PTSD.
  • Include supporting evidence: Attach all relevant medical documentation, including diagnostic reports, treatment records, therapy notes, and any statements from mental health professionals. These documents should demonstrate the severity of your symptoms and their impact on your daily functioning.
  • Send the application to SSA: Send your completed application and supporting documents to the SSA, following their instructions regarding submission methods and deadlines.
  • Follow up and provide additional information if requested: It is possible that the disability benefits agency may request additional information or schedule a medical evaluation. Cooperate fully and provide any requested documentation promptly.

How much is the disability check for PTSD?

The amount of disability benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) varies based on several factors, including the individual’s work history and earnings. The Social Security Administration (SSA) calculates disability benefits using a complex formula that considers the individual’s average lifetime earnings covered by Social Security. The exact amount of the disability check can vary from person to person. However, the average amount for applicants struggling with PTSD is $1229.06.

What if my PTSD doesn’t meet the criteria?

If your PTSD does not meet the specific criteria outlined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disability benefits, it may be more challenging to qualify for benefits based solely on your PTSD diagnosis. 

Even if you do not meet the specific criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) outlined by the Social Security Administration (SSA), a disability lawyer will highlight the limitations and challenges you face due to your impairments, focusing on how these impairments collectively prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

Need Legal Help? Contact experienced lawyers

If your disability claim for PTSD is denied, an experienced disability lawyer can provide valuable assistance. They can guide you through the appeal process, which involves filing a request for reconsideration or requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. They will help you understand the necessary steps, compile additional evidence, and prepare a strong case for reconsideration.