Ask A Lawyer: PTSD and Your Rights!

Ask A Lawyer: PTSD and Your Rights!

Questions & Answers About PTSD and Your Rights!

Q: I am a veteran that’s been diagnosed with PTSD. My symptoms have made it impossible for me to do my job. I have heard that it’s difficult to get approved for long-term disability. Is this true?

A: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) falls into the broad category of conditions that are sometimes described as “invisible disabilities”. They are “invisible” because objective medical testing does not provide proof of the illness, symptoms or disabling condition. An X-ray, CT Scan, MRI or other medical testing generally will not provide any explanation for the symptoms you may be suffering with as part of the PTSD diagnosis. As claims for Long Term Disability are generally scrutinized extensively, being approved may well be difficult. If you have strong medical support and your claim is denied, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced disability lawyer. They will assess your chances of proceeding with your claim and successfully getting the benefits you deserve.

Q: The insurance company says that I am not seeking treatment for my PTSD, so they do not have to pay me. My doctor told me he has done all he can. Where does this leave me?

A: If conventional medicine suggests that no further active treatment will help you to overcome your PTSD symptoms, then you do not have to do more than what your own physicians can offer you in that regard. If your doctors feel that there is some medication that you ought to take, and you do not take it, then that could be construed as a failure to be in active treatment. Legally, if the only treatment your health-care providers suggest is taking medication, and you are doing so, that should be enough to establish compliance with conventional medical treatment. If you cannot follow the recommendations of your doctors because, for instance, the drugs make you feel worse, then you must explore this with them so that they support your decision not to take the customary medications. In those circumstances, you should explore alternative therapies so that no insurer can say that you are doing nothing to overcome your disability.

Q: What are invisible disabilities?

A: Invisible disabilities are conditions that cannot be diagnosed with objective testing such as medical imaging, blood test or a physical examination. Examples of invisible disabilities include, but are not limited to, chronic pain, PTSD, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and some back injuries.

Has your long-term disability claim been denied?
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