Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (also called PTSD) is exactly what its name implies: a stress disorder which follows a particularly distressing event or series of events. The event can be something that was physically traumatic (such as an accident) or something which was psychologically traumatic (such as sexual abuse). In many cases, such as those who were wounded during battle, the event may have been both physically and psychologically traumatic.
Common symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder include: nightmares about the event, flashbacks of the event, and a heightened sense of anxiety about thee event being repeated, whether there is rational reason to believe it might or not. These symptoms and conditions often lead to sleeplessness, avoidance of places, people or specific situations, hyperactivity, anger, and anxiety. Treatments usually consist of psychological therapy, medication, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
If you are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if it can be shown that you are incapable of performing any work which you have done before or which you could be trained for. As with other mental impairments, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be more difficult to “prove” than physical injury or impairment. Those attempting to claim Social Security Disability benefits because of PTSD should seek medical and psychological care. In addition to following all of the treatment your doctor or mental health professional prescribes, you should consider enlisting a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer to handle your case.
A Social Security Disability lawyer will know better than anyone else (including your medical doctor and psychiatrist) exactly what the Social Security Administration is looking for in determining whether or not your Post Traumatic Stress disorder qualifies you for Social Security Disability benefits.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Your Ability to Perform Physical Work
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can cause difficulty doing a wide variety of tasks, depending on what caused the PTSD and how severe your symptoms are. Those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may find it impossible to perform certain types of physical work or to be in certain work environments. This can be because the environment reminds them of (or was) the environment in which they experienced the trauma. It also may be simply because the symptoms of their PTSD makes it unsafe for them to engage in work in any work environment.
When applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important to make sure that all symptoms of your Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are clearly spelled out, and that you include every way in which it affects your ability to perform day to day functions. Even if you don’t see exactly how an apparently non-work related disruption can relate to your ability to perform physical work, the Social Security Administration may consider the information relevant and will take it into account when determining your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can make performing any gainful work impossible if it is severe enough, including sedentary work. Sedentary work doesn’t involve high levels of physical activity, but it does generally require the ability to concentrate, to work with other people or the general public, and to perform tasks which require you to be able to do detail work with your hands.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can negatively affect your ability to do any of those things. Or it may not affect any of them. It’s critical when you’re applying for Social Security Disability benefits that your doctors and mental health professionals include all restrictions to your activities, even if they don’t seem relevant on the surface. Your Social Security Disability lawyer can help you and the mental health professionals who are working with you to frame your Social security disability case in a way which will give you the optimum chances of having your claim accepted.