Getting Long-Term Disability (LTD) Benefits for PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that affects roughly 3.5 percent of adults in the United States every year. This condition stems from a person experiencing (or witnessing) a terrifying event. PTSD can cause those with the condition to have difficulties functioning in day-to-day life, which can make performing the duties of a job nearly impossible.
If you are suffering from PTSD, and it is impacting your ability to work, you may be eligible to apply for long-term disability (LTD) benefits. The long-term disability lawyers at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick understand that PTSD is a difficult condition to manage, which can make filing a long-term disability claim an overwhelming task. We want to assist you with your claim. You can call us today at 800-544-9144 for a free case evaluation with a member of our team.
An Overview of PTSD
PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can greatly affect a person’s well-being, especially if undiagnosed. This condition can affect anyone, but it affects women more than men in the general population.
PTSD occurs when a person witnesses or experiences a traumatic event, such as war, sexual abuse, or an accident that resulted in a serious injury. It is characterized by flashbacks; panic attacks; unmanageable thoughts surrounding the traumatic event; nightmares; and suicidal thoughts.
When a person goes through a traumatic event, it can put significant stress on their mental health. PTSD has gone by many names through the years—starting with “shell shock” during the first world war—but the condition has always been a harrowing one to have. For people who suffer from PTSD, a feeling of helplessness can occur, especially if they have intrusive, relentless thoughts about the event. In essence, the person keeps reliving the experience, which can trigger several side effects.
Those who suffer from PTSD may try and avoid places and people that remind them of the event, which can disrupt their daily lives. Moreover, ordinary noises and sensations, such as a person accidently brushing shoulders with them, can trigger reactions—such as the person having bursts of anger or panic. Of course, the symptoms of PTSD differ from person to person.
Additionally, a person does not have to experience a traumatic event directly to suffer from PTSD. Some people may suffer from this condition after learning a close family member has died or if they have been exposed to horrific details of trauma—such as police officers and detectives.
There are a host of symptoms associated with PTSD. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms, but it is important to remain cognizant of them if you believe you are suffering from this condition.
The symptoms of PTSD generally are categorized into four groups: intrusion; avoidance; changes in cognition and mood; and physical and emotional reactions. These categories can be broken down further by the symptoms themselves.
Intrusion symptoms include:
- Unwanted and pervasive memories of the incident;
- Nightmares; and
- Vivid flashbacks that can border on hallucinations.
Many people who suffer from PTSD want to avoid aspects of life that remind them of the traumatic event. These avoidance symptoms include:
- Physically avoiding places and/or people;
- Avoiding certain activities; and
- Avoiding certain thoughts.
Symptoms categorized as changes in cognition and mood include:
- Not being able to remember certain aspects of the event;
- Negative thoughts that alter how a person sees themselves or others;
- Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities;
- Detachment from family and friends; and
The final category—physical and emotional reactions—has symptoms that include:
- Being frightened or startled easily;
- Reckless or irrational behavior;
- Outbursts of anger;
- Lack of focus;
- Sleep issues; and
As is evident, any of these symptoms can make daily living stressful and overwhelming. This can lead to issues at home and at work. These symptoms can begin a few weeks after the traumatic event, but some people may not experience anything for months. These symptoms, moreover, can vary in intensity and quantity over time. The longer a person goes without a diagnosis, the worse it can become.
If you experience a traumatic event and notice these symptoms, you should contact your doctor for an evaluation. A doctor can diagnose you with PTSD, which is the first step in your recovery. However, what does a PTSD diagnosis usually entail?
For a doctor to diagnose you with PTSD, your doctor will perform a physical exam to rule out anything else that may be causing your symptoms. Next, you will undergo a psychological evaluation, which will include discussions of your symptoms and the event(s) that led to their development.
For a PTSD diagnosis, there must be a traumatic event. A person may experience this harrowing event directly, but they can also have exposure indirectly, such as through witnessing the event in person; learning someone they know has experienced a traumatic event; or horrific details of traumatic events being repeatedly seen or heard.
PTSD can make a person feel like they have limited control in their life, but there are treatments that can help a person overcome this. The two main types of treatment options for sufferers are psychotherapy and medication. It is possible that your doctor will combine these two options.
Treatment for PTSD strives to help change how the person thinks about themselves and their situation. Moreover, it aims to provide coping skills and strategies to retrain their thought patterns. Treatment can also help with other issues that stem from PTSD, such as depression and anxiety.
Psychotherapy is the most common treatment for PTSD and can include cognitive therapy; exposure therapy; or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). These therapies help you recognize thought patterns; alter behavioral issues; and retrain your body’s reaction to external stimuli.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help with depression and anxiety. Your doctor may prescribe you an antidepressant or antianxiety medication.
Long-Term Disability Claims for PTSD
Performing the duties of a job while suffering from PTSD can be an overwhelming. A person’s quality of life can be diminished by PTSD as it takes a large emotional toll. If you are suffering from PTSD, you may want to consider filing for long-term disability benefits. These benefits can help cover a percentage of your income so you can focus on managing your health and treating your condition.
PTSD can leave a person in fear of outbursts or panic attacks; it can cause a lack of sleep and a lack of focus. Moreover, it can lead to severe bouts of depression and extreme anxiety. You are more likely to make mistakes at work when you have not had adequate sleep and cannot focus on your tasks. Additionally, your job performance will suffer when you are constantly in fear of reliving your past trauma, and it could lead you to missing certain tasks entirely.
Certain jobs may have more stimuli that could affect you and trigger flashbacks or outbursts. However, even mundane moments throughout the day can trigger the symptoms of PTSD.
It is important to document your symptoms, both at home and at work. This will help later when you need to submit evidence as part of your long-term disability claim. Nevertheless, LTD benefits would allow you get the treatment you need without having to worry about your income.
How Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Can Help You with Your LTD Claim
If you are suffering from PTSD and need help filing or appealing a long-term disability claim, the legal team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick is ready to assist you. Filing for LTD benefits is a complex process and one that can be more difficult when you suffer from PTSD, especially if your condition is affecting your concentration. Our attorneys understand the difficulties you face and want to alleviate as much of it as they can.
Our long-term disability attorneys will review your long-term disability policy and determine the best evidence to submit to your insurance company to prove your disability. Every policy has a definition of disability that you must prove you meet. PTSD claims are routinely denied by insurance companies, so it is vital to include the best evidence from the beginning to prove why you cannot work and need these benefits.
Additionally, the long-term disability lawyers at CCK have over three decades of experience with ERISA law, which governs group policies. If you have an LTD policy through your employer, it is ERISA governed, which means it comes with its own set of stringent rules and strict deadlines. For example, under ERISA you cannot submit new evidence after the appeal stage. An ERISA attorney from CCK will know how to avoid missteps with group policies to ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve.
Suffering from PTSD is emotionally taxing and frustrating, especially when you have to deal with your insurance company regarding an LTD claim. Our legal team here at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick understand this. We will act as a point of contact between you and your insurance company. Moreover, we keep track of all deadlines and adhere to all rules pertaining to your policy to avoid any potential lapses.
Contact Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Today Regarding Your PTSD Long-Term Disability Claim
If you are suffering from PTSD and it is preventing you from working, you should consider filing a long-term disability claim. We here at CCK believe you should not have to worry about anything other than your health. We want to help you through the entire LTD process, including after the insurance company approves your benefits.
Additionally, we can ease the stress of filing such a claim. If you need to file an appeal, we are ready to fight for the benefits to which you are entitled. Call us today for a free consultation with a member of our team at 800-544-9144 and see how we can help.
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