Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can result in hallucinations, delusions, and altered thinking. It is a serious psychological disorder, and is typically confirmed upon diagnosis by a psychiatrist.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists schizophrenia in its “blue book” as one of the disorders that are eligible for disability benefits. A diagnosis by a qualified healthcare professional confirming that you suffer from the disorder is essential. Furthermore, you must be able to show that you have suffered from schizophrenia for at least a month, or that your condition is expected to last for at least 12 months.
To qualify for benefits under SSA’s criteria, you must also prove that your disorder results in at least one of the several symptoms associated with this disorder, including audio and visual hallucinations, (seeing or hearing things that are not there), illogical thinking, emotional withdrawal, or non-responsiveness. Suffering from at least one of these symptoms must severely restrict your ability to function normally, and affect concentration and attention.
If you do not meet these criteria, you may still qualify for benefits if you experience a severely disrupted ability to perform tasks in a work environment. You must be able to provide medical evidence of this, including hospitalization records, doctor analyses, summary from your psychologist and psychiatrist, and the results of psychiatric tests.
Lastly, if none of these apply to you, the Social Security Administration will determine your RFC or Residual Functional Capacity which will evaluate your ability to perform basic tasks like sitting, standing, or following directions at work.
Please also note that medications are often prescribed for schizophrenia, and if you can manage your symptoms with these medications, SSA may determine that you are not disabled.
If your loved one suffers from schizophrenia, call the Atlanta Social Security disability attorney office of Lisa Siegel, and receive a free, confidential evaluation of your case.