Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


img_doctorPosttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as qualifying conditions for receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, the SSA evaluates each case individually to determine whether or not the effects of the disorder would preclude you from doing any kind of work for a period of at least twelve months.

Posttraumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to traumatic events that threatened or caused great physical harm. In the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security manual (also known as the Blue Book), The Social Security Administration classifies anxiety-related disorders as a Mental Disorders. In these disorders, anxiety is either the predominant disturbance or it is experienced if the individual attempts to master symptoms; for example, confronting the dreaded object or situation in a phobic disorder or resisting the obsessions or compulsions in obsessive compulsive disorders. When evaluating individual cases, the SSA looks for medically documented findings of at least one of the following:

  • Generalized persistent anxiety accompanied by three out of four of the following signs or symptoms: motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, apprehensive expectation, vigilance and scanning.
  • A persistent irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation which results in a compelling desire to avoid the dreaded object, activity, or situation.
  • Recurrent severe panic attacks manifested by a sudden unpredictable onset of intense apprehension, fear, terror and sense of impending doom occurring on the average of at least once a week.
  • Recurrent obsessions or compulsions which are a source of marked distress.
  • Recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience, which are a source of marked distress..

These medically documented findings must result in at least two of the following conditions:

  • Marked restriction of activities of daily living.
  • Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning.
  • Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace.
  • Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.

Or, the medically documented findings must result in complete inability to function independently outside the area of one’s home.

At the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd., we are experienced in handling social security disability claims related to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders. We have experience in mental illness cases including but not limited to bipolar, depression, manic depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia and more. We understand what the SSA is looking for when evaluating claims, and are here to be your tough advocates regardless of the level of your appeal.

We also realize that this is a difficult time, and are here to answer your questions. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.