In recent years, there has been greater recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD. Many veterans returning from overseas conflicts experience PTSD, but the condition is not limited to former military. PTSD may occur following a significant injury or psychological shock and results in persistent mental or emotional distress. According to the Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute, 20 percent of Americans will cope with PTSD in their lifetime with 13 million people experiencing it at any given time.

If you have experienced a severe injury or traumatic event in your life, the effects of PTSD are very real and may affect your ability to work. Despite increased awareness of PTSD, though, disability claims resulting from that condition are often complex and difficult to prove.

Recognizing who is affected

In addition to military veterans, victims of abuse, car accidents, sexual assault and other violent crimes are at-risk of experiencing PTSD. The side effects of PTSD include flashbacks, avoidance, nightmares and negative thinking. These side effects are better understood today than in the past. However, what makes these cases particularly tricky when considering long-term disability claims is that the symptoms often appear much later than the triggering event.

According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD symptoms may manifest as soon as a month after the event. For others, however, symptoms may not emerge until years later, which can make it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. Symptoms may last for days, weeks or years and largely depend on a person’s individual ability to cope and the effectiveness of treatment.

How long-term disability benefits can help

Utilizing your individual disability insurance or employer-provided long-term disability benefits may give you the time and resources necessary to adequately diagnose and treat your individual symptoms of PTSD. Because of the sensitivity required to address PTSD, it is important that you receive appropriate and adequate treatment from a qualified and experienced behavioral health care professional.

If you experience difficulty with your claim, including denial of your claim for disability benefits, you should immediately contact a disability benefit attorney about your case. PTSD is a debilitating condition that may dramatically affect your life in unseen ways. You deserve the utmost care and attention to your case and an experienced attorney can help you obtain the benefits you need.

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