Social Security Disability For Veterans With PTSD

by Jan 30, 2020

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an unfortunate but common affliction among America’s military personnel. Unfortunately, this is an anxiety-related mental health disorder. In fact, it is resulting from experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening or extraordinarily dangerous event. As a result, being in situations such as a combat death, natural disaster, sexual assault, terrorist attack, or fatal accident can cause PTSD. The fact is, that PTSD can prevent a veteran from returning to normal life after his or her service has concluded. In addition, it can harm social and family relationships. Also, it can inhibit a veteran’s ability to work. In addition to its negative effects on mental wellbeing, research has shown that PTSD can contribute to other conditions. Additionally, they may be affecting veterans’ physical health later in life. For example, it can lead to conditions such as cardiovascular or autoimmune disorders. In some cases, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are available for veterans with PTSD. If you are a military veteran suffering from PTSD, you may qualify. Below, learn about what post-traumatic stress disorder is, and how military personnel may qualify for disability for veterans with PTSD.

What is PTSD?

There are several behavioral or psychological symptoms associated with PTSD, including:

  • It can lead to heightened agitation.
  • PTSD can cause you to show hostility to friends and family.
  • Symptoms can lead to social isolation.
  • Someone with PTSD can show signs of self-destructive behavior.
  • It can cause insomnia or persistent nightmares or flashbacks.
  • A person with PTSD can have hallucinations.
  • Someone with PTSD may have a lack of interest in normal activities.
  • It can cause someone to have suicidal thoughts.

Specifically, treatment for PTSD can involve therapy, medication or a combination thereof. On the other hand, it cannot always be successfully treated. Often, PTSD is severe enough to prevent a veteran from holding jobs or performing tasks he or she was capable of doing before experiencing a life-changing trauma.

doctor counseling a soldier suffering from PTSD

Are SSD benefits available for veterans with PTSD?

Furthermore, if you are suffering from PTSD, you will want to know how you can receive compensation for your suffering. Similarly, it should account for your service. Unfortunately, this can be a complicated process involving different government agencies.

As a result, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program intended to supplement the income of citizens who are physically incapable of normal employment. In addition, there are also benefits for veterans suffering from PTSD that are available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

How can veterans qualify for SSDI benefits?

However, merely demonstrating that you suffer from PTSD is not enough to qualify for SSDI benefits. Alternatively, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a five-step process. This helps them to decide if an applicant suffering from PTSD qualifies for disability benefits.

Determining Income

Regardless, the SSA must determine that a veteran’s income. Particularly, it is below the threshold that disqualifies an applicant from being eligible for benefits. Currently, only applicants earning less than $1,170 per month can qualify for SSDI.

Evaluating the Severity of the PTSD

Similarly, the PTSD must be severe enough to inhibit the veteran from performing normal work tasks. As a result, actions such as typical physical activity, basic sensory functions will be very difficult. Also, seeing, hearing, speaking, and comprehending instructions, will be a challenge.

Reviewing Documentation

Most importantly, the veteran must provide documentation of the anxiety. Also, they must have documentation of panic attacks or other effects of his or her PTSD. In addition, they must be furnished by a physician, psychiatrist, or another credible person. Equally, the records should include a detailed description of a normal episode. For example, they should note how long the episodes usually last. Additionally, they should also note the frequency of episodes. As a result, the veteran can qualify for benefits if certain criteria are met. Finally, these records must include the physician’s or psychiatrist’s assessment of how PTSD affects the patient’s ability to work.

More importantly, the SSA will not reach out to a veteran’s physician during the application process. Therefore, you must be proactive in gathering this documentation.

Looking at Work Ability

Provided that, the SSA will explore the veterans’ ability to perform previous work. Conversely, if it determines the veteran still can still function, it will not approve benefits. in any case, it is essential to have as much documentation available as possible.

Assessing Current State

Nevertheless, the SSA will assess the veteran’s age, health, mental condition. Similarly, they will evaluate their general aptitude to determine if there is any other work he or she can perform.

Can veterans qualify for other benefits with PTSD?

Another way to get approved for SSD benefits is to receive a medical-vocational allowance (MVA). Actually, this is more common. A veteran can obtain an MVA if he or she has been denied benefits during any step of the process. Similarly, they must demonstrate a limited Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). Even more, an individual’s RFC is what he or she can still do within the limitations imposed by PTSD.

In fact, it is possible for a veteran to qualify for both VA benefits and SSD benefits. however, eligibility and payment amounts are determined differently by each agency. But even so, since VA benefits are income-based, they can disqualify a veteran from receiving SSD benefits. As a result, the relationship between the two agencies and the types of benefits they provide can be confusing. Alternatively, an experienced attorney can help navigate the complicated application process. Instead, they may secure the appropriate benefits for the sacrifices a veteran has made.

How long will it take to receive SSD benefits for veterans with PTSD?

Given that, it can take several months to a year for benefits to kick in once an application is submitted. Yet, a veteran may receive a lump-sum retroactive payment for the time between the onset of PTSD and the receipt of benefits, up to one year. Either way, any veteran who served on or after Oct. 1, 2001, is eligible to have his or her application expedited. While this is supposed to happen automatically, an applicant may need to inform the SSA of his or her eligibility.

Also, another factor in the SSDI application might be a disability ruling by the VA. As a result, if the VA has determined that you suffer a “100% permanent and total” (P&T) disability as a result of your PTSD, this might also expedite the process. However, a P&T rating does not guarantee you will be approved for SSDI benefits.

Attorneys from the Disability Advantage Group have experience helping disabled veterans across the nation secure the benefits they deserve. Above all, if you suffer from PTSD as a result of traumas related to your military service, you deserve to be compensated. Call 865-566-0800 today to arrange a consultation.