August 21, 2018
Can I Claim Benefits for Psychological Trauma?
Living with trauma is challenging when it interferes with your ability to function in society, work, and/or develop strong relationships. Psychological issues are considered clinical when they lead to deviance, dysfunction, distress, and danger. If you suffer trauma because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensatory financial damages, in addition to whatever government support for which you qualify.
PTSD as a Psychological Disability
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious anxiety disorder, often triggered by a traumatic event. You can develop PTSD if you experience or witness an event that causes intense fear, horror, or feelings of hopelessness.
Experiencing trauma does not always lead to PTSD. With time and effective coping strategies, some people eventually recover from such incidents. Sometimes, however, symptoms worsen and last longer. They can become severe and interfere with everyday life.
PTSD is common among survivors of war and those who served in combat. It can also result from violence, abuse, rape, accidents, and natural catastrophes.
Symptoms of PTSD
The symptoms of PTSD usually appear within three months of the traumatic event. Symptoms can come and go and often occur during a particularly stressful time or when something happens that triggers a memory. Symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Feelings of hopelessness or emotional numbness
- Nightmares about the event
- Flashbacks or reliving the traumatic moment
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling jumpy and easily frightened
- Irritability and being quick to anger
While anyone could develop PTSD, some factors can make you more susceptible to it, such as:
- Anxiety and depression
- Blood relatives with mental health issues
- Exposure to intense or long-lasting trauma
- Experiencing other traumatic events in the past, such as childhood abuse
- Having a high-risk job that exposes you to incidents that can trigger trauma
- History of or current issues with substance abuse
- Lack of a good support system
To qualify for government benefits, you must be diagnosed with PTSD by a psychiatrist (or other qualified medical practitioner) or a registered clinical psychologist. You must provide comprehensive documents that support the diagnosis.
Those with chronic conditions may also be eligible to claim benefits, if the symptoms of PTSD have existed for at least six months. If you believe you qualify for benefits due to PTSD or other psychological issues, consult with a lawyer regarding your claim.
If you need assistance regarding psychological trauma you’ve experienced and your long term disability claim in the Greater Toronto Area, call Michelle Linka Law. We have experience getting clients the benefits they deserve; call: (416) 481-9516.