Tips on Qualifying For Disability Benefits With PTSD

Follow these tips to help you qualify for disability benefits with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Tip #1 Determine If You Meet a Blue Book Listing 

The SSA Blue Book section 12.15 classifies PTSD as a mental disorder because there are no physical signs of the presence of the medical condition. In order to meet the conditions of this Blue Book listing the patient will be asked to produce medical records which indicate the presence of the following:

  • persistent anxiety; 
  • irrational fear attacks, 
  • obsession, or compulsion; 
  • a history of panic attacks. 

The patient will be required to document how his or her emotional instability has led to significant restrictions in two or more areas of his or her life, or has left him or her completely unable to function outside the home. This includes earning an income from going to work. 

Tip #2 Establish You Qualify Through Medical Records & Evidence  

Your doctor will conduct a mental health assessment to confirm your PTSD diagnosis. This means you will be asked about your present symptoms, past history and family history. A physical examination will only take place if your doctor believes you may have another medical condition which is affecting your life. Your doctor should have medical records that support your PTSD diagnosis which you can forward to the Social Security Administration (SSA) as evidence. 

Tip #3 Keep Up With Treatment Plans 

Whatever your PTSD is, keep up with any treatment plans and track that you have been doing so. This is important when the SSA makes its decision about your application for disability benefits. This includes help from different types of medical professionals who have been supporting you since your PTSD diagnosis. 

Tip #4 Fill Out a RFC 

When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, the SSA reviews a form called a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment. This assessment determines what work-related tasks you can still do with a PTSD diagnosis and if your disability is severe enough for you to be eligible for disability benefits. 

Normally a Disability Determination Services (DDS) doctor completes the RFC form, but you should be able to get your own doctor to complete an RFC on your behalf. 

The RFC assesses both your physical and mental limitations. The physical limitation part of the assessment is assessing your exertional level in the following situations:

  • walking long distances;
  • stooping; 
  • standing for a long time;
  • sitting for a long time;
  • pushing or pulling objects;
  • kneeling or crouching;
  • crawling;
  • climbing;
  • carrying objects. 

The mental limitation assessment (a Mental RFC) reveals whether you have the mental capacity while suffering from PTSD to undertake work related tasks. 

Tip #5 Work With An Attorney 

It is never easy finding the medical evidence that proves you suffer from PTSD. But, to help avoid getting your application denied, if you take the Free Case Evaluation to get connected and speak with an attorney, you can get the help you need to provide the evidence to prove your PTSD diagnosis and ultimately give yourself the best chances of getting your application approved. 

Additional Resources 

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