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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: How to Qualify for Social Security Disability

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that results from witnessing or experiencing a traumatic or terrifying event.  These events often include seeing or experiencing an assault, sexual violation, death of another, or combat.  Because PTSD is triggered by a traumatic event, this condition is common for military veterans who have experienced intense combat during their service.

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The most common symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories, avoidance of thinking or talking about the event, negative mood changes, and changes in emotional reactions.  The symptoms of PTSD can be triggered by places, people, or noises that remind a person of the traumatic event.  For example, loud noises such as fireworks may cause someone who has experienced combat to have flashbacks of that trauma.

PTSD is a condition that is specifically listed in Social Security’s Blue Book listings of impairments.  In order for a claimant to be found disabled based on the listing requirements, they must prove that their condition meets or equals the requisite severity level of listing 12.06.

Even if a claimant’s PTSD does not meet the required severity level of this listing, they may still be found disabled based on the mental limitations this condition causes.  For instance, a person with severe PTSD may not be able to leave their house due to fear of being in public.  A person with this severe of a condition will be unable to meet the attendance standards for full-time work.  In addition, the symptoms related to PTSD can significantly impair a claimant’s ability to maintain attention, concentration, and production.  These limitations, either singly or in combination, may preclude a claimant from maintaining competitive employment.

Premier Disability Services, LLC has extensive experience with helping claimants suffering from PTSD obtain Social Security Disability benefits.  If you are suffering from PTSD and it is preventing you from working, please contact our office for a free evaluation of your claim.