Chicago Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Attorneys

Illinois Social Security Disability Lawyers

Post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that can develop after an individual has seen or experienced a traumatic event that involves the threat of injury or death.  Post-traumatic stress disorder is frequently associated with military service during times of war, but it can also develop following a natural disaster, such as a flood or fire, assault, domestic abuse, sexual assault, terrorist attacks, or imprisonment.

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include:

  • Reliving the event in a way that affects daily life, such as flashback episodes, recurring nightmares and recurring, traumatic memories
  • Avoidance and detachment from daily life and normal emotions and behaviors
  • Difficulty concentrating and anger management issues

In some cases, post-traumatic stress disorder may be severe enough to interfere with daily activities and prevent an individual from working.  If this is the case, you may be eligible for social security disability benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  In order to be eligible for either type of disability benefit, you must have a physical or mental medical condition that prevents you from engaging in “substantial gainful activity” and is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death

As a mental disorder, PTSD falls under Section 12.00 of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) list of medical conditions that qualify as disabilities.  Generally, an applicant with post-traumatic stress disorder, or other anxiety-related mental condition, must provide medically-documented findings to support one of the following:

  • Generalized persistent anxiety accompanied by at least three of the following symptoms: motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, apprehensive expectation, or vigilance and scanning.
  • Persistent irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation which results in a compelling desire to avoid the dreaded object, activity or situation.
  • Recurrent severe panic attacks manifested by a sudden unpredictable onset of intense apprehension, fear, terror and sense of impending doom occurring at least once a week, on average.
  • Recurrent obsessions or compulsions that cause marked distress.
  • Recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience.

An applicant with PTSD must also show that the condition results in at least two of the following:

  • marked restriction of daily activities;
  • marked difficulties to function socially;
  • marked difficulties maintaining concentration, persistence or pace; or
  • repeated episodes of decomposition for an extended period of time. Alternatively, the applicant must also show that his or her anxiety results in a compete inability to function independently outside of his or her home.

Medical and Vocational Documentation

The SSA requires that all applicants provide comprehensive medical documentation to support their claim for social security disability benefits.  The amount and type of medical documentation required for a claim based on post-traumatic stress disorder will depend on the extent to which the PTSD affects an applicant’s daily life and ability to work.  An applicant will be required to provide all pertinent medical records and vocational documentation that establish the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder, work history, and ability to perform day-to-day activities.

Compassionate and Knowledgeable Legal Advice

The Chicago social security disability attorneys at Ankin Law have considerable experience helping clients with their social security disability applications involving a variety of medical conditions, including mental conditions such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.  We understand the types of medical and vocational documentation that will be required by the SSA and we can help ensure that the necessary information is provided at the outset in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in the processing of your disability claim.

If you suffer from PTSD and are unable to work as a result, contact Ankin Law at (872) 529-9377 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Chicago disability attorneys to discuss a possible disability claim.


Our Location

Ankin Law

10 N Dearborn, Suite 500
Chicago, Illinois 60602

(872) 529-9377