Woman with PTSD who needs disability benefits.

Social Security Disability Benefits and PTSD

Q: Can I qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with PTSD?

Most healthy Americans start working in their teens or early 20’s and the majority of them continue working straight through until their retirement. Some stop or cut back hours to raise children or care for elderly parents and may later return to working outside the home when the nest is empty or daily caretaking duties cease. 

As Disability Attorneys of California know all too well, disability can strike at any time during an adult’s working years and derail the best of plans. Suddenly, a previously healthy and employed worker may be sidelined as a result of an injury, accident, or illness and find themselves without the ability to work—and without the paycheck they relied on to support themselves and their loved ones. 

How can I qualify for SSD benefits if I can no longer work?

Fortunately, the federal government offers the Social Security disability insurance benefits “SSDI” program for those with a prior work history before becoming disabled. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits the worker must:

  • satisfy the federal government’s definition of being “disabled”
  • have earned the requisite number of work credits,
  • satisfy the recent work test (acquiring the work credits during a certain time)
  • satisfy the duration of work test (must’ve worked a certain number of years and earned the related number of credits, based on age).

To satisfy the medical eligibility requirement, the disabled person must have a severe, long-term, total disability which can be a physical or mental disability, and which has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or result in death. The Social Security Administration has a “Blue Book” list of the recognized physical and mental conditions that satisfy this requirement. However, with proper medical support, skilled Social Security disability benefits attorneys can often establish that conditions that are not included in the Blue Book list, may nevertheless satisfy the definition of the disability. 

If someone becomes disabled as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), they may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits if it is severe enough to prevent them from working. Because PTSD is an anxiety-related disability it may be more challenging to qualify than a physical disability, it is important to hire a skilled Social Security disability benefits attorney to prepare your application for benefits

In 2017, two EMTs encountered a reportedly schizophrenic man who “hijacked their ambulance and mowed down” and killed one of the EMTs. Watching her partner get run over and killed was so traumatic and life-changing that the surviving EMT reportedly could no longer work and “retired on a disability pension” from the FDNY. PTSD symptoms vary from case-to-case. 

Contact Roeschke Law Today 

If you or a loved one need assistance applying for Social Security disability benefits or appealing the denial of benefits, the disability attorneys of California at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation free consultation. 

From our offices in Los Angeles, we help disabled clients and their loved ones throughout California secure the benefits they deserve.