Disability Qualifications for PTSD in Albany
When you experience a traumatic event like an accident, abuse, a natural disaster, serving in combat, witnessing violent crime or even a health crisis like a heart attack, it’s common to feel stressed or scared. Normally, that feeling disappears over time.
For people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though, that feeling doesn’t go away.
And on top of stress, depression or shock, you might have debilitating recurring thoughts, flashbacks or nightmares. You might have difficulty sleeping, anger or irritability, problems with concentration, hyper-vigilance to stressful moments or an exaggerated response to being startled (your “fight-or-flight” response).
PTSD’s causes and symptoms can make it ripe for both over-reporting and under-reporting by people seeking Social Security Disability benefits. But if your symptoms match those of true PTSD and prevent you from working, you can win benefits.
To get an honest assessment of your situation, call James Trauring & Associates, LLC today.
HOW IS SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY FOR PTSD DETERMINED?
There are two paths an experienced lawyer can use to get you approved by disability claims examiners for PTSD-related benefits:
- Satisfying the SSA (Social Security Administration) official disability listing for trauma and stress disorders, or
- Receiving a medical-vocational allowance for PTSD
To satisfy the SSA’s rules for an official listing in its “blue book” of impairments, you must show that you re-experience the trauma through flashbacks, memories or nightmares. These experiences must be more pronounced and extreme than common uncomfortable memories.
You must show your distress interferes with daily life, such as your ability to concentrate at work or have a normal social life.
A medical-vocational allowance, on the other hand, allows you a path to disability benefits even if you don’t meet the official criteria of the SSA’s listing.
For this allowance, the SSA assesses your symptoms and how they limit your ability to work.
You will receive a residual functional capacity (or “RFC”) rating that outlines the type and level of work you could perform based on your health condition.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR CASE FOR PTSD DISABILITY BENEFITS?
Your medical records are crucial for any disability claim, and PTSD is no different.
It’s important to make sure your records show at least one example of a PTSD episode that represents your experiences. The description should include the nature, frequency and duration of such episodes.
You also need to demonstrate difficulty in these areas:
- Recollection of a traumatic experience, and/or
- Recurring obsessions or compulsions, and/or
- Severe panic attacks, and/or
- Generalized persistent anxiety
In addition, you must show at least two of the following:
- Marked restriction in normal daily activities,
- Marked difficulty in functioning socially,
- Marked difficulty maintaining concentration,
- Repeated episodes of worsening psychiatric symptoms
Alternately, you must show you’re completely unable to function on your own outside your home.
Once you’ve provided this information, the SSA will determine whether you’re able to perform your previous job, or whether you could do a different job, based in part on your training and work background.
In all disability cases, you’ll have to show your health problems will stop you from working for at least a year.
If you feel that PTSD is keeping you from working and living a full life, contact James Trauring & Associates, LLC. We’ll evaluate your case for free.