depressed woman holding head
By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, making it challenging to maintain gainful employment. If you or a loved one in Florida is dealing with PTSD and can no longer work, you may be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). In this blog, we’ll explore the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) with PTSD in Florida and how the Disability Advocates Group can assist you.

Understanding PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event, such as combat, sexual assault, or a natural disaster. PTSD can lead to a range of distressing symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and other debilitating effects that can interfere with daily life and employment.

Eligibility for SSDI or SSI with PTSD

Eligibility for SSDI or SSI benefits with PTSD is primarily determined by the severity of your condition and how it impacts your ability to work. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Meeting SSA’s Medical Criteria

To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits with PTSD, you must meet the medical criteria established by the SSA. This typically involves having a diagnosis of PTSD from a qualified medical professional, along with detailed medical records that outline your symptoms and limitations.

2. Providing Evidence of Symptoms

When applying, it’s essential to provide comprehensive evidence of your PTSD symptoms. This can include records of therapy sessions, medications you’ve been prescribed, hospitalizations, and any other documentation that demonstrates the severity of your condition.

3. Work-Related Criteria

The SSA will evaluate how your PTSD affects your ability to work. To be considered eligible, you must demonstrate that you can no longer engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA), which means earning a certain amount of income (as determined by the SSA) through work.

4. Duration of Disability

In the case of PTSD, the symptoms must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least 12 months, rendering you unable to work during this period.

5. Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

The SSA will assess your Residual Functional Capacity, which essentially determines your ability to perform work-related activities despite your limitations. If you’re unable to perform your past work or any other work available in significant numbers in the national economy, you may be eligible for benefits.

The Application Process

The application process for SSDI or SSI with PTSD can be complex. Here’s a brief overview of the steps:

1. Application Filing

You can apply for benefits online through the SSA’s website, by phone, or by scheduling an appointment at your local SSA office. You will need to provide extensive medical documentation, including your PTSD diagnosis and any related conditions.

2. Review and Consultative Exams

The SSA will review your application and may request a consultative examination to assess the severity of your PTSD and how it affects your ability to work. These exams are often conducted by a medical professional hired by the SSA.

3. Decision

The SSA will make a decision based on the evidence provided and the severity of your condition. If your application is approved, you will start receiving benefits.

How Disability Advocates Group Can Assist You

Navigating the SSDI or SSI application process with PTSD can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with the challenges that come with your condition. Disability Advocates Group is here to provide the assistance you need. Here’s how we can help:

1. Gathering Comprehensive Documentation

We can assist in gathering all the necessary medical records, treatment histories, and expert opinions that are vital for your application.

2. Accurate Application Submission

Our team will ensure that your application is accurately completed and submitted on time, minimizing the risk of delays or denials.

3. Professional Representation

Having a knowledgeable legal representative can make a significant difference during your application and appeals process. We’ll represent you professionally, presenting your case in the best possible light.

4. Appeals Assistance

If your application is denied, we can continue to assist you through the appeals process, ensuring you have the best chance of approval.

If you or someone you know in Florida is struggling with PTSD and can no longer work, seeking SSDI or SSI benefits is an option worth exploring. The Disability Advocates Group is here to support you throughout the application process. We understand the complexities of living with PTSD and can help you build a strong case for receiving the benefits you deserve. Don’t navigate this challenging process on your own; let us be your advocates. Contact us today to get started on your path to securing the financial support you need.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals in Florida obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.