Disability Benefits for Schizophrenia
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a number of conditions to be severe enough to prevent you from working. Regardless of the condition, all are subject to evaluation and must meet certain criteria to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Though most of the conditions listed by the SSA as disabling are permanent or expected to result in death, those that are not require evidence showing that the condition has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to interpret reality. Commonly mislabeled as split personality disorder, it is a condition that disrupts thinking and the balance of emotions.
The cause of schizophrenia is unknown and some of its symptoms mirror other mental disorders. The symptoms can be divided into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.
- Positive – an excess or distortion of normal functions, including delusions, hallucinations, difficulty speaking, difficulty organizing thoughts, and disorganized behavior
- Negative – an absence of normal functions, including loss of interest, lack of emotion, withdrawn behavior, lack of motivation, and poor personal hygiene
- Cognitive – problems affecting the thought process, including difficulty paying attention, memory problems, and the inability to make sense of information
Schizophrenia and Social Security Disability
Schizophrenic disorder, along with paranoia and other psychotic disorders, may qualify you for either SSD or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits dependent on your condition or age. It is classified as a mental disorder for both adults and children.
Evaluation for schizophrenic disorder by the Social Security Administration is based on the following and requires certain levels of severity:
- Medically documented continuous occurrences of (at least one of the following): delusions or hallucinations; extremely disorganized behavior; incoherence or illogical thinking; emotionally withdrawn behavior
- Inability to maintain (at least two of the following): daily activities without restriction; social functioning; concentration or pace; a period of time without episodes
- Medically documented history of two years of chronic schizophrenic disorder limiting the ability to perform basic daily activities as a result of (one of the following): repeated episodes; a lasting disease process that doesn’t allow for even minimal mental or environmental changes; a one-year history of not being able to function outside of a highly supportive living arrangement
Get an Experienced SSD Law Firm on Your Side
Schizophrenia is a condition that can cause severe emotional and mental trauma for you and your family. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with schizophrenia, the Social Security Disability attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin want to help you get Social Security benefits for your daily expenses and medical costs.
We know the SSA is notoriously tough on awarding benefits for people with disabling conditions. That’s why we carefully build the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date claims possible for our clients. Best of all, our No Fee Guarantee® means there’s no charge to you unless we get you benefits. Contact our firm by dialing (800) 477-7315 today.