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Although Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often associated with Veterans who experience the trauma of war. Many people can have this disease, even if they are not Veterans. Those who experience violence, such as spousal abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse, can carry the diagnosis of PTSD. Service members who deploy to war zones and experience the threat of death, can have PTSD. Also, those who come under attack or experience the death of fellow soldiers may have PTSD symptoms.  However, even service members who were not in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan, can struggle with PTSD.

Military personnel, policeman, fireman, or volunteers may also experience trauma in training exercises. Or they can experience trauma on the job. Imagine the trauma that can come from protecting civilians against an active shooter. Likewise, imagine the trauma that came from responding to the attack on Pentagon or the Twin Towers on 9-11. We have all heard or seen heroic individuals who suffer from PTSD after responding to tragic events.

There are dramatic stories of PTSD from those who have military jobs and police jobs. But damaging PTSD often comes from domestic violence. For example, abuse can occur from a parent to a child. Or, it can occur between partners in a marriage relationship. PTSD is more common than people realize.  The mental symptoms from PTSD can be disabling. Because, they stop you from being a reliable employee.

Veteran family posing together


The SSA issued mental Listing 12.15 for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you or your loved ones are experiencing PTSD and cannot work, Cannon Disability Law can help.  Listing 12.15 specifically addresses PTSD symptoms. The listing will help you document your mental condition, so you can obtain disability benefits. Listing 12.15 is outlined below:

12.15 Trauma- and stressor-related disorders (see 12.00B11), satisfied by A and B, or A and C:

  1. Medical documentation of all of the following:
    1. Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or violence;
    2. Subsequent involuntary re-experiencing of the traumatic event (for example, intrusive memories, dreams, or flashbacks);
    3. Avoidance of external reminders of the event;
    4. Disturbance in mood and behavior; and
    5. Increases in arousal and reactivity (for example, exaggerated startle response, sleep disturbance).


  1. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning (see 12.00F):
    1. Understand, remember, or apply information (see 12.00E1).
    2. Interact with others (see 12.00E2).
    3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace (see 12.00E3).
    4. Adapt or manage oneself (see 12.00E4).


  1. Your mental disorder in this listing category is “serious and persistent;” that is, you have a medically documented history of the existence of the disorder over a period of at least 2 years, and there is evidence of both:
    1. Medical treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support(s), or a highly structured setting(s) that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of your mental disorder (see 12.00G2b); and
    2. Marginal adjustment, that is, you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands that are not already part of your daily life (see 12.00G2c).


Believe it or not, there are many people with PTSD. The number of disability cases due to PTSD has tripled in the last 10 years, from around 345,000 cases in 2008 to more than 940,000 cases in 2018.  Likewise, service-connected PTSD benefits now make up 22 percent of all veterans receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration. This means there are many Veterans who need help with their condition. The following is a list of resources for Veterans to get help with PTSD:

Find a Therapist and Get Treatment

  • Get Help in a Crisis
    The National Center for PTSD provides links and information to help you locate VA and other mental health services in your area.
  • Find a Therapist
    Describes types of professionals who provide therapy and medication for PTSD and trauma issues.
  • Self-Help and Coping
    Find out what to expect after a trauma and about self-help tools that can help you manage stress reactions.

Help for Veterans

  • Care for Women Veterans
    Describes VA services offered to women Veterans, including the Women Veterans Health Care Program.
  • PTSD Treatment Programs
    Information on specialized treatment for PTSD within VA Medical Centers.
  • VA Benefits and Claims
    Answers to questions about PTSD and service-connected disability that are frequently asked by veterans. Provides information about resources for treatment.

Additionally, if you are a Veteran receiving service-connected disability payments, then the SSA may find you eligible for Social Security disability benefits. They will also give you a faster processing time. This is called expedited review. The SSA disability system is very different than the VA disability rating system. The SSA does not use a rating system. Under the SSA system, it is all or nothing. You either are totally disabled or you are not. Despite those differences, you can apply for both benefits. Many Veterans receive both benefits. You can apply for SSD online at the Social Security website.


There are some common signs and symptoms of PTSD that you can look for in yourself or others:

  1. RELIVING TRAUMA. Returning service members may re-live their military trauma. For example, they may have nightmares of certain events. Also, they may have flashbacks where they feel like you are going through the trauma again. Often, Veterans or survivors of abuse may have reactions to specific triggers, such as smells, hearing loud noises, or seeing certain people. These events cause a person to relive their past trauma.
  2. AVOIDING CERTAIN SITUATIONS. If you have PTSD, you may avoid other people. Likewise, you may avoid situations or places that remind you of your past trauma. You may try to avoid talking or thinking about your trauma. Also, you may avoid situations that make you feel unsafe. Some people try to stay busy or deny their mental condition.
  3. SYMPTOMS SIMILAR TO DEPRESSION. PTSD may make you stay away from close relationships, even with members of your family. Because of feelings of fear or trauma, you may not want to leave your home or go anywhere you don’t feel safe. You may feel you cannot trust others. Likewise, your PTSD symptoms can be similar to Depression symptoms. For example, you may have difficulty with memory, concentration, and trouble sleeping. All of these mental symptoms may impact your ability to work a full-time job.


As you can see, Listing 12.15 is a long regulation. It can also be hard to understand. We know how to apply this listing to your case. If you are suffering from PTSD and cannot work, then you can win benefits. Contact us now. Then seek treatment. With the proper medical records, we can win your SSD case. We will help prove your disability to the Social Security Administration. If you prove disability, then you will be able to replace your income with disability benefits.

At Cannon Disability Law, we offer a free consultation. Also, we represent clients from many different states. For example, we represent clients in Utah. Find Utah Disability Information here. Nevada Disability Information is also available. We also represent clients in California and Idaho. We want to be your disability team. Put our legal experience to work for you. We have won over 20,000 disability cases in the last 30 years. Also, we have won over $100 million in past-due benefits for our clients. Consider our success rate and call us for your free consultation.

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