Social Security’s Disability Listing For Ptsd
There are two ways for Social Security to find you disabled based on PTSD. The first is for you to satisfy the requirements of Social Security’s new disability listing for PTSD. The second way is to receive a “medical-vocational allowance” by showing that your impairments prevent you from working full-time.)
The disability listing for PTSD was added in 2017 as listing 12.15, Trauma- and stressor-related disorders. To fulfill the criteria for the listing, you must have medically documented evidence of all of the following:
- an exposure to a death or threatened death, serious injury, or violence
- subsequent involuntary re-experiencing of the traumatic event
- avoidance of external reminders of the event
- disturbance in mood and behavior, and
- increases in “arousal and reactivity” .
In addition to proving the above, you must show that you have severe or extreme limitations in certain areas. You must have either an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a “marked” limitation in two of the following areas:
- adapting or managing oneself
- interacting with others
- concentrating on tasks
- learning, understanding and remembering information .
- Your PTSD has been serious and persistent over a period of at least two years.
- You are undergoing ongoing medical treatment, mental health therapy, or living in a highly structured or protected setting, and
- Your adaptation is fragile, meaning that you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes or new demands.
Filling Out The Pip Or Dla Form
When filling out the PIP or DLA form, think about:
- Does the task cause you distress?
- How reliably can you complete this task?
- What impact does it have on your mental health?
- Does it take you longer to complete this task?
- Do you need someone with you?
- Do you need to use an aid?
- Is a lack of motivation or tiredness affecting you?
If you need longer to complete your application, ask DWP for an extension. You will need evidence to go with your application. This should explain how your mental health affects you.
Evidence can come from:
If you have less than £16,000 in savings, you might be able to claim Universal Credit.
Claiming Universal Credit when you are unable to work has 4 stages:
- submitting a claim for Universal Credit
- sending 4 weeks of fit notes showing you cannot work
- filling out the work capability form
- having a Work Capability Assessment
When you start claiming Universal Credit, your Work Coach might ask you to:
- attend meetings
- look for work
- apply for work
This is called your claimant commitment. When you have been placed into a group, your commitments might change.
Universal Credit has 3 groups for disabled people:
When you have completed a benefits application, make a copy of the form and evidence.
The DWP will not send your application and evidence back.
A copy of the form can be helpful:
- to remind you what to say in an assessment
- if your form gets lost in the post
- for when you have to reapply at the end of your award
What Does Disability Mean
The word disability has a wide meaning under the Equality Act. Even if you do not call yourself disabled in everyday life, the Act may still protect you. The Equality Act does not specify that you to have a diagnosis in order to be covered. It says you have a disability if you have a:
physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
This definition is quite technical. We have explained each term below.
What is a mental impairment?The Equality Act does not define impairment. The guidance to the Equality Act states that the term should be given its ordinary meaning. This includes the effects or symptoms of the illness, as well as the diagnosis. Most mental illnesses may be thought of as an impairment based on the effects it has on you.
What does substantial and long-term mean?The word substantial means that the effect that your illness has on you must be more than small or minor.
Your illness will be long-term if it:
- has lasted for at least 12 months,
- is likely to last for at least 12 months, or
- is likely to last for the rest of your life.
What are normal day-to-day activities?This looks at whether your mental illness makes it harder for you to do things that a lot of people do in everyday life.
The Equality Act doesnt say what is meant by the words normal day to-day activities. It could include things like:
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Is Ptsd A Disability
Many people dealing with serious episodes of nightmares and anxiety often experience difficulties in their day-to-day lives, as well. The Social Security Administration added PTSD as a disabling condition in the year 2017. It is covered under disability listing 12.15 the SSAs Blue Book, related to trauma and stress disorders.
Medical professionals and studies suggest that PTSD is critical and can be difficult to treat. There are high chances that the symptoms will return, and the person will experience trauma or stress at different stages of life. It is often recommended to reach out to a medical professional as soon as you experience symptoms. Professional support can help a patient and may lead to recovery.
It has been found that some people recover within six months, whereas some people experience symptoms for longer. People who face disabling conditions for less than a year can exploreshort term disability plans.
It is possible for patients living with this ailment to experience symptoms and also live a healthy life. With the help of medical care and effective therapy, patients may feel better and be able to manage normal activities of daily living. Anyone struggling with the condition should adopt a healthy lifestyle and reach out to friends or support groups for help.
Does Everyone Get Ptsd After A Traumatic Experience
No. But nearly everyone will have the symptoms of post-traumatic stress for the first month or so. This is because they can help to keep you going, and help you to understand the experience you have been through.
This is an acute stress reaction. Over a few weeks, most people slowly come to terms with what has happened, and their stress symptoms start to disappear.
Not everyone is so lucky. About 1 in 3 people will find that their symptoms just carry on and that they cant come to terms with what has happened.
It is as though the process has got stuck. The symptoms of post-traumatic stress, although normal in themselves, become a problem or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder when they go on for too long.
The more disturbing the experience, the more likely you are to develop PTSD. The most traumatic events:
- are sudden and unexpected
- cause mutilation and loss of arms or legs
- involve children.
If you continue to be exposed to stress and uncertainty, this will make it difficult or impossible for your PTSD symptoms to improve.
Everybody feels stressed from time to time. Unfortunately, the word stress is used to mean two rather different things:
- our inner sense of worry, feeling tense or feeling burdened
- the problems in our life that are giving us these feelings. This could be work, relationships, maybe just trying to get by without much money.
We dont know for certain. There are a several possible explanations for why PTSD occurs.
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What Is The Equality Duty
The Equality Duty means that public bodies have to do certain things for service users.
A public body is an organisation that carries out a public service but is not a government department. An example is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service .
They are included in the Useful Contacts section at the bottom of this page.
The Equality Duty asks public bodies to:
- stop discrimination, harassment and victimisation,
- promote equality between people with a protected characteristic and those without, and
- promote good relations between people with a protected characteristic and those without.
Private organisations that are doing work for public bodies also have to do this. An example would be if a private company were running a day care centre for the local council.
Public organisations must make sure that they treat disabled people and non-disabled people the same. To do this they must:
- remove or minimise disadvantages that disabled people face,
- take steps to meet the needs of people with disabilities, and
- encourage people with disabilities to take part in activities that they are not normally able to take part in.
The public organisation must try to tackle prejudice and increase understanding of disability.
Creating A Supportive Environment
Its helpful if employers create an environment where staff feel able to talk openly about mental health.
- treating mental and physical health as equally important
- making sure employees have regular one-to-ones with their managers, to talk about any problems theyre having
- encouraging positive mental health, for example arranging mental health awareness training, workshops or appointing mental health champions who staff can talk to
Employers can find out more about promoting positive mental health at work, including:
- understanding mental health
- creating a mental health strategy
- educating the workforce
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Preparing For A Benefits Assessment
It can be hard to talk about how your mental health affects your life. Knowing what to expect might help you prepare for the assessment.
You can request adjustments to make things easier. These can include:
- an assessment over the phone or at home
- being in a quieter room
- having an afternoon appointment to avoid travelling in rush hour
If you know what adjustments you will need, ask as soon as possible.
Check If You Have An Impairment
You have an impairment if your physical or mental abilities are reduced in some way compared to most people. It could be the result of a medical condition – like arthritis in your hands that means you cant grip or carry things as well as other people.
An impairment doesnt have to be a diagnosed medical condition. If youre suffering from stress, you might have mental impairments – like difficulty concentrating – as well as physical impairments such as extreme tiredness and difficulty sleeping. It still has to have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
Your impairment doesnt have to stop you doing anything, as long as it makes it harder. It might cause you pain, make things take much longer than they should or mean that youre unable to do an activity more than once.
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When A Mental Health Condition Becomes A Disability
A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010.
Your condition is long term if it lasts, or is likely to last, 12 months.
Normal day-to-day activity is defined as something you do regularly in a normal day. This includes things like using a computer, working set times or interacting with people.
If your mental health condition means you are disabled you can get support at work from your employer.
There are many different types of mental health condition which can lead to a disability, including:
Getting Treatment For Post
Some people with PTSD heal over time, but others need to seek treatment. It might seem impossible to know which needs to meet for each person, considering how PTSD can affect us is so unique to the individual.
SUN Behavioral specializes in meeting those needs. For PTSD specifically, one of the main evidence-based treatments SUN uses is key in helping people not only understand their PTSD but heal from it and move forward.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of therapy focused on redefining and utilizing thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to produce positive results. There has been a significant amount of research into it, with positive outcomes.
It may seem contradictory, but CBT helps you to focus on the present rather than the past. PTSD is always rooted in the past, because it is post-traumatic, meaning after the trauma has taken place.
What CBT does is allow you to examine your thoughts and emotions and see how they relate to your behaviors. When you begin to change your thought patterns and your behaviors, you end up molding your life and experiences by understanding why certain thoughts and emotions occur.
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I Am A Carer Am I Protected By The Equality Act
The Equality Act protects carers and relatives of people with a mental illness from direct discrimination.
An employer or service may treat you worse than others because you are caring for a disabled person. This is known as discrimination by association.
If you are a carer, the Equality Act protects you in your own right. It protects you from being treated unfairly because of any of the protected characteristics.
Benefits And Mental Health
If your mental health means you find it hard to work or do daily tasks, you could claim benefits. These will depend on the criteria, but can include depression or anxiety.
The benefit process can be stressful. There are things you can do if its affecting your mental health. These can include:
- accessing mental health support
- talking to a mental health charity about how you are feeling
- talking to other disabled people on our online community
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Arousal And Reactivity Symptoms Include:
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or on edge
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having angry outbursts
Arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. These symptoms can make the person feel stressed and angry. They may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
Mental Health And Disability
A mental health condition can be considered to be a disability according to the definition. But not every mental health condition will be considered as a disability.
For a mental health condition to be considered a disability, it has to meet the criteria in the definition to have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on normal day-to-day activity. Examples are given in the guidance published alongside the Act.
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Do You Need More Information About Ptsd
Our website has lots of information about PTSD to arm you with the knowledge and details you need to understand the condition, be able to explain it to your friends and family better and, ultimately, to help guide you to the support and treatment you may need. Below are some direct links to some of the most common questions we are asked.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Anyone exposed to trauma can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it can cause a wide variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms find out more about PTSD on this page here.
I think I might have PTSD, what should I do?
If you recognise some of the symptoms of PTSD in yourself, its really important to speak to someone if you feel you can. This might be a friend or loved one initially, but seeing a medical professional will also allow you to get a full diagnosis, understand your condition better, and most importantly, find out what treatment options are available for you. Find out more about what to do if you think you have PTSD on this page here.
I think my loved one has PTSD, what can I do?
I’ve just been told I have PTSD, what can I do next?
What treatments are available for PTSD in the UK?
What can I do to ease my PTSD symptoms?
Which Treatment First
Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggest that trauma-focused psychological therapies should be offered before medication, wherever possible.
- watch out for any changes in behaviour poor performance at work, lateness, taking sick leave, minor accidents
- watch for anger, irritability, depression, lack of interest, lack of concentration
- take time to allow a trauma survivor to tell their story
- ask general questions
- let them talk, dont interrupt the flow or come back with your own experiences.
- tell a survivor you know how they feel you dont
- tell a survivor theyre lucky to be alive it doesnt feel like that to them
- minimise their experience its not that bad, surely
- suggest that they just need to pull themselves together.
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What Can Cause Ptsd
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be triggered by any number of different traumatic experiences a person may have encountered. Therefore, the condition can affect people of all ages. Although it is not present before its cause, it can happen anytime in a persons life when faced with an experience that has mentally impaired them.
The fear felt during this traumatic experience can be so disturbing that their life becomes controlled by it through PTSD. In the case of claims for veterans claims post-traumatic stress disorder, it could be a tragedy on the battlefield. Shocking statistics have illustrated that one in three people exposed to or experienced an incredible event develops PTSD.
There is no sufficient evidence as to why some people have PTSD after severe trauma. Some dont. However, more high-risk trauma experiences such as abuse have a higher percentage of triggering PTSD. It could even be the risk of poor treatment if an injury occurs due to medical negligence.
What is clear, though, that those who have suffered from depression or anxiety and have never fully recovered may be more susceptible to suffering from PTSD after a petrifying experience. But regardless of the cause, the suffering victims could look to file PTSD claims for compensation.