Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Disability Claims
Post-traumatic stress disorder disability affects millions of Americans, both veteran and civilian. PTSD can affect anyone who has lived through or witnessed a traumatic event such as
- The horrors of war and combat
- Terrorist attacks, such as the 9/11 World Trade Center attack
- A disaster such as a riot, fire, or hurricane
- Sexual assault
- Domestic violence
- Surviving a catastrophic injury
- Violent crime such as shootings or murder
As disability lawyers, we have handled hundreds of post traumatic stress disorder disability claims that were denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security disability, and LTD insurance companies.
If you have been denied your rightful benefits for PTSD and need help, call us at 1-800-562-9830. We can help you get the benefits you deserve.
PTSD is a type of severe anxiety disorder. Research has indicated that PTSD can actually damage the brain, where stress can cause the brain to atrophy as well as result in neural death of some areas of the brain.
Living with post-traumatic stress disorder disability can be crippling. The disorder can destroy your quality of life and your ability to provide for your family.
Symptoms of PTSD include:
- Rage and anger
- Depression or anxiety
- Flashbacks of traumatic events, nightmares
- Avoiding reminders of the experience
- Memory problems
- Feeling “on edge” or being easily startled
- Overwhelming guilt or worry
- Feeling emotionally numb
If your claim for PTSD disability benefits has been rejected, it is imperative that you seek help from a qualified denial of benefits lawyer.
Claiming Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Disability on a LTD Insurance Policy
Disability insurance companies often take advantage of an unrepresented PTSD claimant, causing the claim to be denied, delayed or terminated.
Because PTSD is typically not recognized by victims right after the stressful event, and worsens over time, they often try to adjust to (or hide from) their problems. They may continue to work, at first without extreme difficulty.
As time goes by, the seriousness of their impairment becomes evident. Yet this gives the insurance company incentive to reject the claim since the claimant was working after the stressor event.
Many long-term disability policies are written by their insurance providers with wording subtly meant to reinforce denial:
- Most policies state that the insurance company has discretion to determine the award of benefits.
- Many policies try to fit disability benefits for PTSD under a 24-month limitation.
- Other common contract language ambiguously states that benefits will be awarded only if you cannot perform “each and every” important task of your job.
Just because your insurance company denied your claim for post-traumatic stress disorder disability – does not mean they have won. Do not let them intimidate you. Their “decision” of your claim does not mean it is final; it is just what they hope you will think.
If you or a loved one are now suffering from PTSD, please do not hesitate to contact Marc Whitehead & Associates for a free consultation.
We have significant experience in disability insurance law for policies that were privately purchased, or issued through an employer group policy and subject to ERISA law. Talk with us to see how we can help secure the disability benefits you deserve.
Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Disability – Combat PTSD
Known throughout the years by other names such as shell shock, battle fatigue, post-Vietnam syndrome, or combat neurosis – post-traumatic stress disorder has been around as long as battles have been fought. It has only been in recent decades that medical and government authorities have recognized PTSD as a disabling condition.
PTSD occurs when military service men and women are exposed to traumatic sights and experiences of war, and are put in situations where they fear for their lives, or witness death. Veterans who have PTSD to the point that it affects their work, their family relationships, and their quality of life are entitled to disability compensation from the VA.
The VA uses a schedule for rating disabilities when determining the level of a veteran’s service-connected disability. Post-traumatic stress disorder disability is listed in the Schedule under Mental Disorders as an Anxiety Disorder.
As of July 2010, the VA to some degree relaxed the evidence requirements for proving an in-service stressor event for PTSD disability claims. Under old regulations, a veteran had to prove where a traumatic event happened, including names involved and the date it occurred. Often this was impossible to do long after the fact.
Under the new rule, the VA has reduced the evidence needed. They will award disability benefits to veterans with PTSD if:
- The veteran experienced a traumatic event that produced intense fear, helplessness or horror that is believed to have caused their condition.
- The veteran can show the traumatic event occurred while they were serving in a war zone, in any capacity (as opposed to actually having been involved in combat, or a “firefight”)
- A VA psychiatrist or psychologist must support the claim with a medical diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder.
Even so, the standard of proof for a veteran seeking disability benefits is high. Veterans run into denials or serious delays of disability claims founded on PTSD due to the difficulty in diagnosis and insufficient presentation of the claim.
There are several levels of appeal in the VA disability claims process. If your initial application is denied, as Accredited Veterans Claim Attorneys we can represent you at your hearing before the Board of Veterans Affairs.
If you must further appeal your case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, our lawyers have a proven track record. We have the experience to identify errors in due process, and the skill to see to it that the VA corrects them.
We will ensure your case gets the attention it deserves from the VA. Please read more important information about denied disability benefits for veterans here.
Social Security Claims for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Disability
PTSD is listed in the Social Security Listing of Impairments under Mental Disorders Listing 12.06, Anxiety-related disorders. To be awarded disability benefits under this listing, the claimant’s medical records regarding PTSD must satisfy a combination of specific, rigid requirements.
Many times, the person’s medical records do not meet or equal the SSA’s requirements of section 12.06. In these cases, your claim for PTSD can be evaluated under Medical Vocational Allowance. To qualify under these criteria, the post-traumatic stress disorder must be severe enough that you are considered unable to work at your former job, or other type of job that provides substantial income.
There is no need to suffer endlessly when help is available for you. We can help appeal the denial and ensure that your post-traumatic stress disorder disability claim will have the highest possible chance of success. Our legal team will collect and properly present all the medical records and documentation needed to support your disability claim, and make certain that you meet all obligations and deadlines.
If you are scheduled to appear in a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to determine whether you are eligible for disability, we will prepare you for the hearing and present your case before the ALJ. As Board Certified Social Security attorneys, we can represent you with authority in your final appeal to federal court if necessary.
Get Help – Contact Our Disability Attorneys
Many people who are denied their disability benefits simply feel they have no recourse. We have been winning battles against disability claim denials since 1992, representing people who have fought their insurance companies, the SSA and the VA.