Post-traumatic stress disorder has been cropping up more and more in the news lately as more and more soldiers return home from combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. But while PTSD is often associated with soldiers who have experienced particularly violent episodes in combat, it is not completely exclusive only to them. In fact, some civilians have developed this condition after experiencing traumatic events of their own.

Those of our Georgia readers who have been diagnosed with PTSD might be wondering right now if they can receive disability benefits as a result of their mental health condition. While the Social Security Administration does award benefits to those disabled by the condition, it’s important to remember that not all cases are approved and some even require appeals down the road.

The first thing to consider is the fact that approval of an application depends on the severity of PTSD in the applicant. A person will first need to get a diagnosis from their doctor and include this with their submission along with documentation that explains how the disability is affecting your life. It’s important to remember that if PTSD is significantly impacting your social life and your ability to work but your application is denied, you can appeal the decision.

While the appeal process does not require you to obtain legal representation, many have found lawyers incredibly helpful during this process because they know the laws quite well and can help make sure your application is filled out correctly and accurately portrays just how much you are affected by your condition.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, “Medal of Honor recipient urges support for PTSD,” Alexei Koseff, Aug. 26, 2013