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Can veterans suffering from PTSD receive SSD benefits?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has been a growing category of diagnosis since the turn of the century. The group that may be at most risk for such a diagnosis are the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not only caused many members of the military terrible physical wounds, but also left a mark psychologically on so many.

This blog has pointed out in the past that it is possible to qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration due to mental health issues. It is important to note that the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense also have benefits programs, which operate completely independently from the Social Security Disability Insurance program we are discussing here.

The VA has a rating system that it uses to define the extent of a veteran’s total disability, as well as the portion of that disability that is contributed to by PTSD. A study done by the SSA using a sample of veterans from 2000 to 2006 attempts to identify how the VA rating system interacts with grants of Social Security Disability benefits for mental conditions. The study looked at veterans who had received a 100 percent disability or Individual Unemployable rating from the VA who then applied for SSD. It found that a third of those veterans applying for SSD had a primary diagnosis of PTSD. The SSA believes that proportion would be even higher in samples taken today, due to changes in the VA’s PTSD diagnostic procedure. According to the study, veterans whose PTSD rating was in the five categories greater than 0 percent, were allowed SSD benefits on their first application between 71 percent and 74 percent of the time. Thus, it appears veterans with PTSD disability ratings from the VA, and were rated 100 percent in total disability, have a very good chance of success even on their first applications for SSD.

Another important note is that veterans can request expedited processing of their disability claims with SSA as long as they can provide certain information about the location of their medical records. If you are a veteran, and you suffer from PTSD or another mental or physical disability, you may want to consider contacting an experienced Ohio disability attorney to discuss getting all the benefits to which you are entitled.