Support for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can help with the emotional, mental, and financial effects of the condition. Options include support groups, financial aid, and therapy.

People may be able to access PTSD support from a range of sources, such as government agencies, foundations, health organizations, and local communities. There are also sources specifically for certain groups, such as veterans or survivors of sexual assault.

Keep reading to learn more about PTSD support in the United States, including the available options, where to find support, and how to apply.

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The support available for people with PTSD will vary depending on location, but could include:

  • Accessible treatment: Local or low cost treatment options may help people with PTSD get the treatment they need. Universities may also run clinical trials.
  • Emotional support: This could include support from helplines, support groups, forums, and peers.
  • Financial support: There may be benefits people can claim to help with living expenses.

There are also services for specific causes of PTSD, such as:

Further resources for PTSD related to these issues appear further down the article.

Learn about PTSD symptoms, treatment, and more.

Treatment can significantly help with the symptoms of PTSD and improve quality of life. People can look for treatment, or support in accessing treatment, through the following organizations:

Several helplines or hotlines offer immediate support, including:

  • The Crisis Text Line: Individuals experiencing a PTSD flashback may speak to a trained crisis counselor through the Crisis Text Line by texting CONNECT to 741741.
  • The 988 Lifeline: The 988 hotline provides trained crisis counselors to help with mental health distress, including difficulties related to PTSD.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: This group offers guidance for people with suicidal thoughts at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Suicide prevention

If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:

  • Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
  • Listen to the person without judgment.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
  • Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.

Find more links and local resources.

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Support groups can help people cope with PTSD by giving them a space to talk and connect with others who have similar experiences.

People may find an in-person or online support group through the following organizations:

In-person support groups may not be available in every community. Online groups offer an alternative, but it is important to choose one with moderators.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has benefit programs for people with disabilities, including those related to mental health.

It offers two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Qualifying for support

To qualify for SSDI, a person needs to have worked a certain number of years. Qualifying for SSI involves having an income that falls below a certain level.

In the SS Blue Book, which is a listing of conditions that may qualify for disability benefits, someone with PTSD may be eligible for SSDI or SSI under section 12.15.

The criteria include a person having documented PTSD and either extreme limitation in one area of mental functioning or marked limitation in two areas, such as interacting with others or understanding information. The person will also need to have evidence that their PTSD is severe and persistent.

A person can apply online here. Alternatively, they may call the SSA at (800) 772-1213 to get an appointment at a local office.

There are specialist support services and organizations for those who have PTSD due to sexual assault or domestic abuse. These include the following groups:

  • The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network provides support specifically to people who are experiencing or have survived sexual abuse. People can call 800-656-HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline supports people who have experienced any form of domestic abuse by phone at 1800-799-SAFE (7233) or by text at 88788. Text “START” to begin the conversation.
  • 1in6 supports male survivors of sexual assault by providing support groups and information.
  • Safe Helpline is a service specifically for sexual assault survivors within the military, as well as their loved ones. People can speak to someone anonymously and confidentially at 877-995-5247, or chat at online.safehelpline.org.

The below sources of support are available for veterans:

Disability compensation

Some veterans with PTSD are eligible for disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This compensation consists of tax-free monthly payments. Qualifications include a diagnosis of PTSD and having experienced the related traumatic event during military service.

People may apply online. They may also apply via mail, fax, or in person at a regional VA office.

Vet Centers

Vet Centers are community-based centers that offer free counseling to veterans and their families. The counseling includes needs related to PTSD, and the goal is to foster a successful transition to civilian life following a traumatic event.

A free call center is also available 24/7 at 877-927-8387. Combat veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experiences or any issues about adjustment to civilian life.

VA health benefits

PTSD treatments, including psychotherapy and medications, are available at the VA.

The VA also provides free healthcare for certain people who have a condition related to military service. To quality, a person must have what the VA deems to be a “catastrophic” disability.

In assessing people who apply, the VA assigns a disability rating. To receive free healthcare, a person needs to receive a rating of at least 50%.

Some veterans are responsible for copays for treatment of conditions unrelated to military service. They can apply for VA healthcare here.

Crisis help

The Veterans Crisis Line has three options for providing PTSD support. People can:

  • call 988 and then press 1
  • text 838255
  • chat online

The PTSD Foundation of America also has a combat trauma helpline at 877-717-PTSD (7873).

Mental health resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and resources on mental health and well-being.

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There are many potential sources of PTSD support.

Government agencies, foundations, and health organizations may help people who have difficulty accessing treatment. There are also helplines that can provide immediate help to people in crisis or who are experiencing flashbacks.

Peer support via in-person or online groups may also help. Individuals who meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for disability may receive certain benefits that can help them with their living expenses if they cannot work.

Additionally, there are organizations that provide support for specific types of trauma, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.