An extremely traumatic incident can cause some serious stress and may develop into a condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can cause physical and/or mental symptoms and could likely limit the day-to-day activities of someone afflicted.

Unfortunately, people with PTSD may find it difficult to hold down a job which may lead them to seek financial assistance necessary for them to pursue treatment. Below is a brief guide to PTSD and legal processes that victims go through to win compensation to ensure their survival.

PTSD Diagnosis and Symptoms

It is not enough cause for diagnosis to simply have a stressful experience or even enduring flashbacks of the event. The medical and legal community recognizes someone who has PTSD when they exhibit symptoms that fall within the scope of four categories:

  • Re experiencing symptoms (flashbacks or nightmares that make the sufferer feel like they are reliving the experience)
  • Symptoms resulting from triggers or reactions.
    • Anxiety, excitement, anger or rage, and/or insomnia.
  • Cognition and mood symptoms.
    • Memory loss, inability to concentrate, lack of interest in day to day activities, andor depression.
  • Avoidance symptoms.
    • Avoiding anything that could remind the person about the incident that occurred like places, people, thoughts or objects.

Qualifications for Formal DIagnosis

The person experiencing symptoms must display the following for at least one month in order to be formally diagnosed with PTSD:

  • One symptom of reexperiencing
  • Two trigger symptoms
  • Two cognition and mood manifestations.  
  • One avoidance and trigger symptom

These symptoms have to be so severe that they disrupt the person’s everyday life and make it difficult to exist.

Can You Qualify for Benefits if You are Diagnosed With PTSD?

Social Security Disability (SSDI) is usually the benefits awarded to PTSD sufferers. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires a formal medical diagnosis and statements and documents from your doctor to prove a number of, if not all of, the symptoms listed:

  • That the afflicted is incapable of adapting to different settings, conducting daily chores and affairs, or managing daily life. This can include inability to keep up on cleaning, dressing or cooking.
  • Interactions are difficult with other people.
  • It is extremely trying to maintain a level of concentration needed to complete basic daily tasks.
  • That the condition keeps the afflicted from learning, remembering or understanding new information.

If you believe you may qualify for benefits, or have suffered PTSD due to a third party’s negligence, contact injury lawyers Charlottesville VA residents frequently depend on today for a consultation about your particular case.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Martin Wren, P.C., for their insight into personal injury.