Living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be debilitating and have an outsize impact on your life. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), PTSD affects more than 3% of all adults in the United States each year. For some, PTSD is manageable and does not impact their life on a daily basis. For others, PTSD is more debilitating and can impact every facet of their life.
Sometimes, PTSD can make functioning in a workplace environment almost impossible. If your PTSD is debilitating, you may be eligible for social security disability for PTSD in the form of SSDI benefits.
The two most common reasons that people are denied social security for PTSD are that they don’t have a medical diagnosis and they can’t show that their PTSD interferes with their ability to work.
To get SSDI benefits for PTSD, you must first demonstrate that you have PTSD. To prove that you have PTSD, you need to show a medical diagnosis for it. Otherwise, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has no concrete evidence of the condition’s existence, and they will deny your claim. To get a PTSD diagnosis, you should seek the help of a medical professional. If you speak with your physician initially, they can refer you to a psychiatric professional to aid in diagnosis. If you already see a psychiatric professional, they can run the right tests to make such a diagnosis.
On top of showing a legitimate diagnosis for PTSD, you need to demonstrate to the SSA that PTSD is impacting your life to a significant degree. To be eligible for disability benefits most often means that your condition impedes your ability to function in the workplace and thus amounts to a disability. A diagnosis of PTSD is not enough to prove this. For your condition to amount to a disability, you must be able to demonstrate that the condition’s symptoms are affecting your ability to make a living for yourself.
If you are interested in getting disability for PTSD, there are a few steps you can take to improve your application’s chances of approval. To this end, the most important step you can take is to document everything. Maintain a diary or other record of how you feel each day. In addition, keep a journal of any PTSD symptoms you have. If your symptoms prevent you from participating in any of your usual activities, record that. This includes anything from impeding your ability to work to impeding your ability to exercise, be around certain places or people, or even drive your car.
However PTSD is impacting your life, document it. Document any visits you have to a psychologist or other medical professional. Any time you seek help from a medical professional, don’t just document it yourself—make sure you get a copy of any of the medical professional’s own records of your visit and of their diagnosis. Also, document any medication used to treat your PTSD and maintain a journal of how that medication affects you positively or negatively. Maintaining a thorough record of every aspect of your PTSD will help you prove that your PTSD impacts your life to such a degree that it amounts to a disability.
It can be quite intimidating to continue with the SSDI application process after a denial. Starting the process itself can be quite a daunting task. If you are denied social security disability for PTSD but are struggling to function in the workplace, contact us at Rue & Ziffra and speak with Attorney Luis Gracia for a consultation. We can help you improve your application or appeal the SSA decision.
Whatever you need help with, our team is here for you. SSDI benefits are one of our firm’s primary practice areas, so our attorneys have the experience necessary to navigate the SSDI process from start to finish and aid you in getting the help you need. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t wait to call us for help. Contact us today.