Monthly Disability Benefits| Social Security Disability Benefits for Schizophrenia | SSD | SSDI | SSI

If you suffer from schizophrenia that prevents you from working, you may be entitled to monthly disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. A Social Security attorney or Social Security law firm can help guide you as you apply for SSI or SSDI benefits.

Schizophrenia is a serious and challenging medical illness, an illness that affects well over 2 million American adults, which is about 1 percent of the population age 18 and older.  Although it is often feared and misunderstood, schizophrenia is a treatable medical condition.

More than 2 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia, a serious and challenging mental illness. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it hard to discern the difference between reality and unreal experiences, to behave normally in public, to think logically and to have normal emotional responses to circumstances. Schizophrenia can be just as disabling as a physical illness.

People who suffer from a serious mental illness like schizophrenia are entitled to disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, just like someone who is prevented from working by a physical disability would be. A licensed mental health professional or physician must evaluate your condition and determine if your schizophrenia is so severe that it will prevent you from working and persist for more than 12 months. A Social Security attorney or law firm can help you file your application for disability benefits and help present the evidence about your schizophrenia in the most compelling way possible.

When evaluating an individual for disability on the basis of a schizophrenia, an applicant may have to provide information from the following sources, including medical evidence, psychiatric information, evidence of work attempts, mental status examination, psychological testing, intelligence testing, personality testing, neuropsychological assessments and evidence of treatment.

The following symptoms, when found in combination, are some of the hallmark signs of schizophrenia:

  1. Delusions or hallucinations;
  2. Catatonic or other grossly disorganized behavior
  3. Incoherence, loosening of associations, illogical thinking, or poverty of content of speech; and
  4. Emotional withdrawal and/or isolation

Mental Illness SSD Attorneys will help you recover benefits

If the above symptoms are present and result in at least two of the following, the Social Security Administration is likely to classify your schizophrenia as being severe enough to qualify you for monthly Social Security disability payments in the form of SSDI or SSI benefits:

  • Marked restriction of activities of daily living;
  • Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning;
  • Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or
  • Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.

If you have a medically documented history of chronic schizophrenia for the past two years and this condition has limited your ability to work, you are likely to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. One of our Social Security lawyers or law firms can evaluate your case and gauge your chances of having your disability claim approved.

For more information about schizophrenia, visit the Social Security Administration's website.

DotCO's Tips when applying for a SSDI or SSI claim for schizophrenia:

  1. Keep detailed records of all hospitalizations. It is important to keep records on any time you are hospitalized as part of your schizophrenia treatment. At a bare minimum, these records should contain discharge records. However, the more comprehensive your records are, the more likely the SSA is to approve your claim for Social Security disability.
  2. Participate in research.Participating in cutting edge schizophrenia research helps establish your diagnosis and can also help identify what is causing your mental illness. Moreover, it demonstrates to the SSA that you are serious about finding a way to address your illness. Oftentimes, research includes testing that is not part of your typical psychiatric evaluation: These tests can include MRI, EEG, fMRI, PET, MMPI, WISC, etc, and can help further document your illness.
  3. Maintain copies of all educational records. Keeping copies of educational records, such as report cards and graded assignments can help show if your schizophrenia is causing your grades to suffer, for instance if your grades dropped from A's to B's or C's to D's. While your application may not ask for this information, it is important to include and helps provide a full picture of an applicant's disability. This is especially true when dealing with cases of childhood schizophrenia, and for all applicants with a history of schizophrenia who are in college.
  4. Ensure your answers are both thorough and concise. You want to ensure you are providing enough information to give the SSA a full picture of how your schizophrenia is impacting your life, but you also want to make sure that information is easily understandable. Using bullet points can be a simply way to break down information into manageable chunks. A Social Security attorney can help review your application to ensure the information is presented in the most compelling way possible.

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