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SSA’s New Listing for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The Social Security Administration has issued new rules for mental disorders that roll out this week.  The new mental rules include Listing 12.15 for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The new rule is as follows:

12.15 Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

  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). ​
B.  An extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning (known as Paragraph B requirements):

  1. The ability to understand, remember, or apply information;
  2. Interact with others;
  3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace; or
  4. Adapt or manage oneself
C. 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, or a highly structured setting that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of your mental disorder; 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.
If you or your loved ones are experiencing PTSD and cannot work, our Social Security Disability firm can help.  The new listing specifically addresses PTSD and will help those who are disabled document their impairment so that they can obtain benefits.  Contact our office and we will help you negotiate the new mental requirements for disability benefits.
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