Qualifying for Disability Benefits (SSDI) with PTSD in Pennsylvania
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that approximately one in five Americans, or roughly 58 million people, live with some sort of disability. While some of these individuals can manage their conditions with medication or other treatments, other people have an injury or illness which is so severe that it interferes with their ability to work and earn an income.
Needless to say, the financial demands of life continue without interruption, regardless of whether or not you are employed. For those who cannot work for health reasons, the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers assistance in the form of monthly benefits. Numerous conditions can qualify you, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. An experienced attorney can help prepare, review, and file your claim.
To learn more about how our firm can help you qualify, call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates at (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania. Your legal consultations will always be confidential, and your first comes completely free of charge.
Pennsylvania Disability Benefits Approval Rate
Monthly benefits are a crucial form of financial assistance for millions of Americans throughout the nation. But unfortunately, being approved is a challenge. In Pennsylvania, the average statewide approval rate is only about 32% of all initial claims. During Reconsideration, which can be requested after a claim has been denied, the approval rate plummets even lower: the national average is only 11%.
The bottom line is that the application process is an uphill battle. You’re facing bleak statistics, long waiting lists, and an extremely rigorous medical examination, all at a time when you’re simply trying to cope with your health and finances. You need the guidance and support of an experienced, aggressive attorney who knows how to navigate the convoluted social security system.
At Young, Marr & Associates, our disability benefits lawyers have more than 25 years of experience. Our firm has handled thousands of claims, and we have obtained millions of dollars for our clients over our many years serving Pennsylvania. Whether you’re still thinking about submitting a claim, or you’ve already been denied and want to appeal, our team is here to help.
PTSD and Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania
There are two “stages” of requirements you’ll need to pass if you want to be approved by the SSA.
First, you’ll need to meet the general requirements which apply to all conditions:
- Your condition must last for 12 months, at a minimum.
- Your condition must be so severe that it prevents you from working in either your old job or in a new, modified capacity.
Then, you’ll need to meet the requirements which are specific to your health condition.
These requirements are contained within the SSA’s “Blue Book,” or Listing of Impairments. The Listing is divided into separate medical categories, which contain the guidelines claims examiners use to determine whether or not a disability is severe.
The information relevant to PTSD can be found under Section 12.00 of the Listing, titled Mental Disorders. At first glance, it seems as though PTSD is not included. However, that is only because PTSD is filed under Section 12.06, Anxiety-Related Disorders.
How Does the SSA Classify PTSD?
As stated in the Listing:
“In cases involving… post-traumatic stress disorders, documentation of the anxiety reaction is essential.”
The SSA receives many fraudulent claims, and as a result, the ability to present medical evidence is critical to being approved. But what does the Listing mean by “documentation”?
“At least one detailed description of your typical reaction is required. The description should include the nature, frequency, and duration of any panic attacks or other reactions, the precipitating and exacerbating factors, and the functional effects.”
The SSA classes PTSD as an anxiety-related disorder. A few of the potential qualifying points for this class of disorders include:
- Medical documentation of “motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, apprehensive expectation, or vigilance and scanning.”
- “Recurrent severe panic attacks.”
- “Recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience, which are a source of marked distress.”
You only need to meet one of these requirements, not all of them. However, you must also display one of the following:
- “Marked difficulties” with daily activities, social function, or “concentration, persistence, or pace.”
- “Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.”
- “Complete inability to function independently outside the area of one’s home.”
Pennsylvania Disability Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
You may be able to qualify for benefits with PTSD. An attorney can help increase your chances of being approved. To schedule your free, private case evaluation, call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates at (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania. You can also contact us online. Claims can take months or even years to be processed, so don’t wait another day: let’s get started reviewing your options.