June is PTSD Awareness Month

Posted June 11, 2021 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

This month, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is raising awareness for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event, which may involve a real or perceived threat of injury or death. This can include: a natural disaster like an earthquake or tornado, military combat, physical or sexual assault or abuse, or other accidents. The VA estimates that about 8 million people in the United States currently suffer from PTSD.

PTSD used to be called “shell shock” or “battle fatigue” because it often affects war veterans. According to the National Center for PTSD, it’s estimated that about 15 percent of Vietnam War veterans and 12 percent of Gulf War veterans have PTSD.

But PTSD can happen to anyone at any age. It occurs as a response to chemical and neuronal changes in the brain after exposure to threatening events. Having PTSD doesn’t mean you’re flawed or weak.

Symptoms of PTSD fall into four groups: intrusion (flashbacks, unpleasant memories, nightmares, or distress), avoidance, arousal/reactivity (trouble concentrating, startle response, feeling on edge, irritability, or bouts of anger), and cognition/mood (negative thoughts, distorted feelings, trouble remembering the event, or reduced interest in activities). People with PTSD may also suffer from depression and/or panic attacks. There are also differences in how men and women tend to manifest symptoms – everyone is different.

People with PTSD tend to feel a heightened sense of danger. Their natural fight-or-flight response is altered, causing them to feel stressed or fearful, even when they’re safe. PTSD can disrupt your normal activities and your ability to function. Words, sounds, or situations that remind you of trauma can trigger your symptoms.

Treatment for PTSD may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) may consider your PTSD under Listing 12.15. However, even if you do not meet the strict requirements of the listing, you may still qualify for disability benefits if your experience of PTSD prevents you from working full time. The SSA will consider how your PTSD, or any other mental impairments you may have, affect your ability to: understand, remember, or apply information; interact with others; concentrate, persist, or maintain pace; and adapt or manage oneself.

Read more about PTSD: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/awareness/index.asp ; https://www.healthline.com/health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

See SSA’s mental listings: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/12.00-MentalDisorders-Adult.htm#12_15

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®


Social Security for Same-Sex Couples

Posted June 4, 2021 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

We are happy to celebrate June 2021 as Pride Month! Pride Month occurs in the United States in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. Gay pride or LGBT pride is the promotion of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as a social group. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes same-sex couples’ marriages in all states, and some non-marital legal relationships (such as some civil unions and domestic partnerships), for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits, Medicare entitlement, and eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Here are five things you should know about our benefits for same-sex couples:

  1. Marital status is important — same-sex couple can receive Social Security benefits when a worker retires, becomes disabled, or dies. SSA also considers marital status when determining eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income.
  2. What type of benefits can you receive — Social Security taxes pay for three kinds of benefits: retirement, disability, and survivors. If you are entitled to benefits, then your spouse and eligible family members might receive benefits, too.
  3. Children may receive benefits — your children or stepchildren could also be entitled to benefits.
  4. When you apply for benefits is important — if you are married or have entered a non-marital legal relationship, you are encouraged to apply right away, even if you are not sure if you’re eligible. Applying now will protect you against the loss of any potential benefits.
  5. Report life changes right away — you should notify SSA immediately if you move, marry, separate, divorce, or become the parent of a child. Don’t wait until SSA reviews your benefits to tell them about any changes. You should report changes right away so benefits are paid correctly.

For more information, please visit SSA’s website for same-sex couples. You can also read their publication What Same-Sex Couples Need to Know.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Social Security Honors Military Heroes

Posted June 1, 2021 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

On Memorial Day, our nation honors military service members who have given their lives for our country. As former President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men (and women) have died to win them.” This is why families, friends, and communities come together to remember the great sacrifices of our military members and ensure their legacies live on.

The benefits that the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides can help the surviving families of deceased military service members. For example, widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors’ benefits. You can learn more about those benefits at www.ssa.gov/survivors.

The SSA also offers support to our wounded warriors. Social Security benefits protect veterans when injuries prevent them from returning to active duty or performing other work. Both the Department of Veteran Affairs and Social Security have disability programs. You may qualify for disability benefits through one program but not the other, or you may qualify for both. Depending on your situation, some members of your family, including your dependent children or spouse, may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits.

Wounded military service members can also receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims. If you are a veteran with a 100% Permanent & Total compensation rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the SSA will expedite your disability claim.

Want more information about how the SSA can help? Visit www.ssa.gov/woundedwarriors for answers to commonly asked questions or to find information about the application process.

Thinking about retirement or know a veteran who is? Military service members can receive Social Security benefits in addition to their military retirement benefits. For details, visit the SSA’s web page for veterans, available at www.ssa.gov/people/veterans.

Please share this information with the military families you know. We honor and thank the veterans who bravely served and died for our country and the military service members who serve today.

Source: https://www.redbluffdailynews.com/2021/05/27/social-security-honors-military-heroes/

Patricia Mrofka is the Social Security manager in Redding.

Contact our office today if you or anyone you know would like to learn more about qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits.

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®