I was diagnosed with PTSD. Can I apply for Social Security disability?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that has become widely recognized and accepted by both medical professionals and the general public in recent years, especially since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD for short, as “an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and reminders of the event that last for many weeks or months after the traumatic event.” A police officer involved in a shooting might suffer PTSD, as could a combat military veteran or a victim of sexual assault or other violent crime. The effects of PTSD can last for months or years, long after the incident that triggered it has passed. Sometimes, it never goes away.

The CDC describes symptoms of PTSD as multifaceted, depending on the person experiencing the condition. Flashbacks, nightmares, and extreme emotional and physical reactions to reminders of the event are common. Other symptoms linked with PTSD include panic attacks, depression, suicidal thought and feelings, drug and/or alcohol abuse, feelings of being estranged and isolated and not being able to complete daily tasks, according to the CDC. The disorder can have long-lasting, severe symptoms that worsen over time and can lead to suicidal thoughts if left untreated. PTSD treatment often includes some combination of medication, counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychotherapy.

So when is PTSD a disability? When it’s leaving you unable to perform your daily activities, making work, or sometimes even leaving the house, impossible. PTSD can affect your relationships, not to mention your career and financial situation.

The Social Security Administration does recognize PTSD as a disability that is often eligible for disability benefits, but the condition needs to be medically detailed and chronicled from its initial diagnosis, experts say, to meet the government’s listed criteria. There should be evidence of recurring trauma, distress, constant anxiety and irrational fear, panic attacks and obsessions or compulsions. The key here is to prove to the government through medical records that post-traumatic stress disorder has rendered you limited in your daily living, or has left you completely unable to function independently outside of the home.

The experienced Social Security disability lawyers at Murphy & Garner, LLC have decades of experience handling disability cases and will fight for the compensation you deserve. For your free consultation call us today at 678-563-1584, or visit us online.


FindLaw Network
“Seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.� (Isaiah 1:17)
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • 10 Best 2015-2016 | 2 Years Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys
  • Super Lawyer
  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals 2008
  • American Academy Of Trial Attorneys - Premier 100 - 2015 - AATA
Stephen E. Garner
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...