Social Security Disability for PTSD

After A Traumatic Event, Get The Compensation You Deserve
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Eric and Gary Penar

You went through something shocking, traumatic, and disturbing. Maybe it was an accident, natural disaster, or violence. Under the circumstances, it was normal to feel stress and fear.

But over time, those feelings didn’t fade like they should. They leave you unable to function like you did before.

You could have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If it’s so severe that you can’t work, it just creates more stress about money and the direction your life is going.

Monthly checks from Social Security disability could provide the crucial financial support you need to work through this difficult time. But benefits are hard to get.

Proving PTSD to Social Security comes with particular challenges. You might need legal assistance to qualify for disability income.

Penar Law has helped thousands of people win benefits in the Spokane area and across Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

Contact us today!

How are Social Security benefits for PTSD determined?

Your PTSD might have started with an accident, crime, abuse, disaster, war, or frightening health problem. It comes with stress, depression, and shock.

You also might experience debilitating recurring thoughts, flashbacks or nightmares, difficulty sleeping, anger or irritability, problems with concentration, hyper-vigilance to stress cues, or an exaggerated response to being startled (your “fight-or-flight” response).

An experienced lawyer can use one of two methods to persuade a disability claims examiner to approve your benefits based on PTSD. You must either:

  • Satisfy the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability listing for trauma and stress disorders; or
  • Receive a special consideration called a “medical-vocational allowance”

The Disability Listing

The SSA keeps an official listing called its “blue book” of impairments.

To qualify with PTSD, you must show that you re-experience the trauma through flashbacks, memories, or nightmares. Common uncomfortable memories are not sufficient—you must show your experiences are pronounced and extreme.

Your distress must interfere with your daily life, for example by affecting your ability to concentrate at work or your ability to have a normal social life.

Medical-Vocational Allowances

If you don’t meet these criteria, you might still find a path to disability benefits via a medical-vocational allowance.

For an allowance, the SSA assesses the particular symptoms you’re facing and determines how they limit your ability to work.

Then they’ll assign you a rating called a residual functional capacity (RFC) that summarizes the level and type of work you’re capable of performing, based on your mental health.

To help you understand your best options, Eric Penar and his team will evaluate your case for free.

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What evidence will you need to claim PTSD benefits?

Medical records are at the core of your disability claim for PTSD.

Your records must describe at least one example of a typical PTSD episode that you experience, including the nature, frequency, and duration of the episodes.

Records should also demonstrate difficulty in the following areas:

  • Recollection of a traumatic experience, and/or
  • Recurring obsessions or compulsions, and/or
  • Severe panic attacks, and/or
  • Generalized persistent anxiety

Additionally, you must show at least two of the following:

  • Marked restriction in normal daily activities
  • Marked difficulty in functioning socially
  • Marked difficulty maintaining concentration
  • Repeated episodes of worsening psychiatric symptoms

Beyond showing that you’re dealing with some limitations, you can also demonstrate that you’re completely unable to function on your own outside of your home.

Based on all this information, the SSA determines whether you can perform your previous job, and if not, whether you’re able to perform a different job based on your training and background.

As with all disability cases, you must also show that your health problems will prevent you from working for at least a year.

When you’re already dealing with PTSD, it’s asking a lot to build a complicated Social Security Disability application, or appeal a denial. Eric Penar can take care of that for you.

And you pay no attorney’s fee unless you win benefits.

If PTSD is preventing you from living a full life, contact our office today.

You Only Have 60 Days!
Once you’re denied benefits, the clock starts ticking. You only have 60 days to appeal. Don’t wait too long to contact a lawyer. You can miss the deadline to appeal.
Local vs. National

Get help locally.  We’re local Social Security lawyers, and only serve Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Learn why that makes a difference.

Read What Our Clients Say About Us


I highly recommend Them if you're in need of a disability lawyer.Eric Penar did a amazing job helping me win my disability case.i cant thank him enough for winning my difficult case.a real professional and great guy.

Loren Clark February 15, 2022

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justin tyme January 31, 2022

I was so glad to have this team in my corner! They treated me with such kindness and made a stressful process manageable. I was well prepared for my hearing and I know I can call with questions in the future as well. I highly recommend this team! Thank you Eric, Nick and Precious especially, for all your expertise, work, and kind professionalism!!! So grateful for the win! A great weight is lifted!

Journey With Jen January 28, 2022

Eric Penar and his staff are amazing! Eric, Nick, Amy, and Precious all worked with me in a very timely and professional manner to get a great outcome for disability benefits. Can't recommend Penar Law enough for their great work!

Dan Steele January 26, 2022

Very good and helpful

Allen Troup October 11, 2021

Amy and Precious go above and beyond the call of duty! They are the most caring ladies! Professional and kind! Went way out of their way to help me with a personal matter even years after my case was won! Yes Gary Penar won my case and then came back and saved my tail again! Nick was my contact person and he was incredibly kind! My story is a dark one and I have SSDI because of PTSD. The staff was very patient with me and worked hard to win my case! Thank You Amy! your Kindness will never be forgotten!!!

Christine Douglas June 24, 2021

The legal team here at Gary Penar law office provided exceptional help getting my husband's Social Security claim complete. From beginning to end they are an amazing office. I will recommend them to friends and family.

Beki H June 21, 2021

Gary Penar Law Offices, especially Nick, were very helpful, knowledgeable, and responsive to my case. I highly recommend them!

Rebecca Hartman June 20, 2021

They were kind and understanding. Made me feel at ease with the whole process.

Deborah Marlow June 17, 2021

Gary and Eric are top-notch attorneys for Social Security Disability and all their assistants are well trained and knowledgeable. This is undeniably one of the best firm's in Spokane. Highly recommend!

Efrem Ocubamichael June 15, 2021