Veteran PTSD and Social Security

By admin

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is a serious mental health disorder that can require lifetime management. It can develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event such as domestic abuse or combat. Many factors can increase a person’s chances of developing PTSD that are outside of their control such as how long they’re exposed to traumatic experiences, whether or not they received injuries, and how much support they received after the event.

Depending on the severity of your PTSD, it can prevent you from living a normal life. Fortunately, there are ways to get help. Read on to learn more.

Symptoms of PTSD

The best way to know if you are suffering PTSD is to speak with a counselor or psychologist. If you are experiencing symptoms like these, seek a mental health professional for a diagnosis.

  • Being hyper-aware of your surroundings
  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Avoiding activities
  • Feeling hopeless or emotionally numb
  • Issues with memory recall or focus
  • Feelings of guilt or shame


People diagnosed with PTSD can undergo different treatments based on their needs such as cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, medication, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

Can I Qualify for Disability if I’m Diagnosed?

Social Security Disability Supplement Income is intended for individuals incapable of normal employment. There is a 5-step process to determine eligibility.

  1. Income: In order to qualify the person must earn less than $1,180 per month.
  2. Severity: The individual must experience severe limitations in the ability to perform normal tasks. This includes difficulty following instructions, remembering and using the information to complete a task, difficulty interacting with others in socially appropriate ways, inability to concentrate or focus on tasks, incapable of adapting to change, and difficulty managing emotions.
  3. Documentation: Applicants must provide documentation from a physician, psychiatrist or healthcare professional recognizing the diagnosis and who has witnessed the effects of the disorder. They must provide information on a typical episode including duration, frequency, typical symptoms experienced, and how it impedes the individual’s ability to work.
  4. Work Ability: Must either attempt to perform previous work or provide documentation from a previous employer detailing their inability to perform tasks.
  5. Assessing your current state: They take into consideration the person’s age, how close they are to retirement, health, mental condition and aptitude for employment.

It can take up to a year to begin receiving benefits, however, veterans serving after October 1, 2001, qualify to have their application expedited. If the applicant is denied benefits at any stage of the application process they can also apply for the Medical-Vocational Allowance, which is easier to obtain. Veterans can receive VA assistance and Medical-Vocational Allowance simultaneously.

What If I am Being Treated In a Facility?

If you are living in a highly supervised situation and undergoing intense therapy you can still apply. You will need to provide documentation from the facility that the PTSD diagnosis has been serious and persistent for a minimum of two years and that you are undergoing medical treatment.

It is possible to receive Social Security Disability for veterans with PTSD but it is a long process. However, while it is difficult to obtain disability assistance, most people who apply to receive a medical-vocational allowance will receive one with proper evidence.