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Can You Get Disability For Schizophrenia

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The Intervention Did Not Appear To Have A Strong Effect On Mortality

Can I Get SSD Benefits Because I Have Schizophrenia?

There were no deaths in the treatment group and a very small percentage of individuals in the comparison groups died within 12 months of establishing their claims with SSA. The average mortality rate during that period was less than 1 percent for comparison groups C1 and C2 and just over 1 percent for comparison group C3 .

Can You Get Disability For Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disability that implants delusional thoughts into a persons mind, leading to disorganized speech and thinking, as well as severe social dysfunction.

Hallucinations can become extremely uncomfortable, leaving a person at a loss of their normal thinking and communication. Left unchecked, it has the potency to dominate multiple facets of a persons life and well-being.

Causes of schizophrenia are widespread, linked to genetics, the persons environment, drug use, and chemical imbalances in the brain. Schizophrenia symptoms are characterized by problems with cognition, behaviour, and emotions, including:

  • Delusions
  • Extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behaviour
  • Lack of ability to function normally

Symptoms of schizophrenia in men usually start in the early to mid-20s in women, symptoms appear in the late 20s. Its very uncommon for children to be diagnosed with the disability, and is rarely found in people over the age of 45. Treatment for schizophrenia primarily comes in the form of medication to subdue any chemical imbalances, or social interventions, and therapies.

Evaluating Your Residual Functional Capacity

If your medical evidence does not “meet” Listing 12.03, then the SSA will determine your “residual functional capacity” to perform basic work tasks, which means how much you are still able to do in spite of your illness. To be found disabled, your RFC must show that you are able to do so little that you cannot perform any jobs you’ve done in the past or any other work in the U.S.

If you have schizophrenia, it is likely that your ability to perform mental skills will be greatly reduced. Therefore, your mental RFC might also include the following: an inability to concentrate on tasks on a long-term basis, an inability to work well with co-workers, and an inability to perform most basic work tasks quickly and under a deadline. If you have severe problems with basic mental skills such as concentration and understanding directions, then it is more probable that the SSA will find you unable to perform any work. But if the SSA finds you can do some type of simple unskilled job that doesn’t require much contact with co-workers, it may find that you aren’t disabled.

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Get Support For Your Schizophrenia Disability Claim In Detroit

Its obvious to most that severe schizophrenia makes maintaining employment impossible.

Monthly disability checks can help anyone living with schizophrenia eat, keep a roof over their head, pay for psychiatrists and psychotherapy and afford the psychotropic medications much needed to manage this illness.

But winning benefits isnt easy. Most people are denied and must file an appeal. Gathering the evidence you need and proving your case for schizophrenia comes with particular challenges.

Social Securitys own data has shown that people with professional representatives to help them navigate the disability benefits process have a higher chance of success. One government report said having a representative increases your likelihood that a disability judge will award benefits by almost three times.

Its enough to deal with the effects of schizophrenia. Let a Levine Benjamin lawyer take care of your disability claim.

Well evaluate your case for FREE.

From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.

The Intervention Led To A Significantly Higher Allowance Rate At The Initial Disability Adjudication Level

Can You File a Disability Claim for Schizophrenia in ...

The allowance rate for the entire treatment group was 94 percent, ranging from 87 percent in Northern California to 97 percent in Los Angeles . Overall, the treatment group saw a higher allowance rate at the initial-decision level than the three comparison groups, with differences of 28 percentage points , 36 percentage points , and 53 percentage points . According to SSA’s records, at the national level, 7 percent of PD findings in fiscal years 2012, 2013, and 2014 did not result in an eventual SSI payments allowance.1 With a 95 percent ultimate allowance rate for the treatment group, the reversal-of-PD-finding rate for the pilot is in line with the national rate during the same period.

Table 3. SSI allowance rates and consultative examinations for the HSPD pilot, by location

Outcome and location
* = statistically significant at the 10 percent level.** = statistically significant at the 5 percent level.*** = statistically significant at the 1 percent level.
a. Northern Californiaincludes the combined Northern California field office locations for the treatment group and comparison groups C1 and C3 and the surrounding area field office locations for C2 .
b. Los Angelesincludes Los Angeles Downtown field office location for the treatment group and comparison groups C1 and C3 and the surrounding area field office locations for C2 .

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Meeting The Ssa’s Listing Of Impairments For Schizophrenia

The most straightforward way to receive disability benefits is for your child to meet the limitations described under a particular listing in the Childhood Listing of Impairments . Listing 112.03 is for schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, and it was updated significantly in 2017. In addition to schizophrenia, the SSA will also evaluate schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, and other psychotic disorders under this listing.

Applying For Disability Benefits With A Mental Illness

Mental and psychological disabilities are among the conditions that can qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration . You may qualify with severe depression, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, or another mental illness that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.

Social Security disability benefits can cover everyday living expenses, medical bills, and other financial obligations. Benefits are paid monthly and can alleviate many of your financial worries, making it possible for you to get by without income from employment.

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Applying For Ssi With A Childhood Psychotic Disorder

It can be difficult to obtain disability benefits for a childhood psychotic disorder. Schizophrenia rarely begins in childhood, though it can appear at age 16 or 17.

First, the Social Security Administration will want evidence from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist that your child has been diagnosed with schizophrenia or a similar mental illness. Second, the SSA will grant SSI benefits only if your child has had very serious limitations in his or her daily functioning, even with the use of medications, for at least 12 months, or is expected to have these limitations for 12 months.

To provide evidence of the severity of your child’s problem, your child’s psychiatrist can provide the results of psychological tests, clinical notes, and a medical opinion on your child’s limitations to the SSA. If you are unable to afford medical care, the SSA may send your child to a psychologist for a paid consultative examination.

Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility

Schizophrenia and Social Security Disability

Schizophrenia is a serious, psychotic mental disorder that may make it difficult to think logically, interact socially in a normal way, control behavior, and distinguish between reality and delusions/hallucinations. Schizophrenia is a “spectrum”disorder, meaning that the types and severity of symptoms may vary greatly between individuals, especially taking into account different responses to treatment. Although some people with schizophrenia respond well enough to medications to perform some type of work, there are many others who cannot.

While schizophrenia is a common psychotic disorder seen by Social Security, there are similar disorders involving different degrees of psychosis that may also quality for disability benefits, such as:

  • schizotypal disorder
  • substance/medication-induced psychotic disorder, and
  • psychotic disorder due to another medical condition.

As with all mental impairments, Social Security is more interested in what functional limitations a disability applicant has, after trying medical treatment, than what specific psychotic diagnosis the applicant has been given.

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What Are The Chances Of Getting Benefits

At first glance, it might appear that the criteria for schizophrenia are so broad it would be easy to meet them, but this is not the case. Medical records are often specific as to an individual’s symptoms and the resulting limitations, but they seldom describe exactly how a condition prevents one from working, a concept that is key to being awarded disability benefits. Even disability examiners and judges who are well schooled in the criteria that must be met to qualify for SSDI/SSI must refer to their manuals when it comes to conditions like schizophrenia√Ęthe definition is so broad as to be open to quite a bit of individual interpretation. Interpreting an applicant’s medical records in a way that will persuade a disability examiner or judge that one is unable to work can be difficult.

Although some schizophrenics get turned down after their initial disability application, the overall allowance rate is over 80% for individuals with schizophrenia. Those who are able to manage the process of appealing and wait for a hearing date are usually successful in getting disability benefits.

Appendix B: Identification Of Schizophrenia And Schizoaffective Disorder

The evaluation of the HSPD pilot required identifying SSI applicants who allegedly had, or had been diagnosed with, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. We apply this same identification process to the treatment group for consistency. To be included in the evaluation, each case must have met at least one of the following criteria:

  • Allegation description of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder

    We mined the allegation text field for root words and various misspellings of schizo found in Keyword Set B1 . From this list, we searched again for root words more specific to schizophrenia and schizoaffective found in Keyword Set B2 and Keyword Set B3 to differentiate these two categories. The second search picked up one invalid observation, which we removed. Lastly, we used a sounds like function to search the text field for schizophrenia and schizoaffective, to catch any additional common misspellings. This last procedure did not find any additional observations.

  • Primary diagnosis code: 2950

    We flagged any observations with a 2950 primary diagnosis code as a potential indicator of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The 2950 impairment code covers the Mental Disorder listing 112.03: Schizophrenic, Paranoid, and Other Psychotic Disorders. We included any individuals who received a denial based on this code, in addition to those who were approved, to capture as many individuals as possible who may have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

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    Psychosis Is Recognized As An Impairment In Social Securitys Blue Book Under Section 1203 A Listing That Includes Schizophrenia Spectrum And Other Psychotic Disorders

    Schizophrenia is the most common disorder in this category, but other mental disorders are included in this listing, such as schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, brief psychotic disorder and substance induced psychosis. To qualify for SSDI you must be able to provide medical documentation of a psychotic disorder that has existed for at least two years. You must also show that your condition limits your ability to function in a work environment so severely that you are unable to work.

    How The Va Rates Schizophrenia


    The VA rates schizophrenia as it does other mental illnesses, on a scale of 10% to 100% depending on the severity of symptoms, with breaks at 20%. The VA doesnt have a specific criteria for rating schizophrenia, so these ratings describe a general levels of impairment due to a mental condition, with an emphasis on your ability to work.

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    Appendix A: Identification Of Homeless Individuals

    A crucial step to developing comparison groups for the HSPD pilot evaluation was identifying individuals who were potentially homeless during the period of interest. The community partners identified the individuals in the treatment groups as homeless . For uniformity, we used the same selection process for both the treatment and comparison groups in our analyses. This inevitably meant removing some treatment group members from the analysis who did not have a clear indication of homelessness in SSA’s administrative data. The five selection criteria for identifying homelessness follow:

  • Homeless flag on the SSI application.
  • A residence type of transient listed as the most recent residence type, with a start date on or before the date that the SSI claim was established in SSA’s records. The five transient data files from 2010 to 2014 came from SSA’s Office of Systems.
  • Residential address field contained a word or phrase from Keyword Set A1 or Keyword Set A2.
  • Residential address field contained the name of an emergency shelter from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s list of emergency shelters in California. Organization names and program names were pulled from HUD’s list, a few abbreviations were removed , and shelter names were shortened, for example, MSC-South Shelter was shortened to MSC.
  • Remarks section in the Field Office Disability Report or Disability ReportAdult contained a word from Keyword Set A1.


    Zahn Emer

    The Onset Of Schizophrenia Later In Life May Lead To Difficulty Securing Employment

    Unfortunately, schizophrenia is a terribly disabling psychiatric illness with severe and long-term consequences for claimants and their families. The onset in early adulthood was clinically, at one point, considered by the medical community to be the main characteristic of schizophrenia.

    Although the illness normally happens during a persons early adulthood its been reported that at least 20% of patients have onset after the age of 40 years, which would be the prime of a persons working career.

    Most patients with late-onset schizophrenia have onset of illness during middle age although there are many reports of persons ages 65 and older that suffer schizophrenic symptoms which are more analogous to psychosis type issues, with fewer and less severe positive symptoms than those who are younger. Unfortunately, schizophrenia is associated with recurrent hospitalizations, need for long-term community support, poor social functioning, and high-unemployment rates. The employment of persons who suffer from schizophrenia is unfortunately often impeded by numerous clinical problems, including symptoms of schizophrenia and poor cognitive functioning. In fact, medical research has found that more positive psychotic symptoms were predictive of job loss.

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    Schizophrenia And Your Ability To Perform Physical Work

    Schizophrenia does not directly stop you from performing physical work, at least not in the sense that it hinders you from pushing, lifting, pulling, or otherwise performing physical tasks. Because of the unpredictable nature of schizophrenia, however, and the difficulty those who live with the condition have in distinguishing reality from hallucinations or other delusions, many physical type jobs can be dangerous.

    Your residual ability to perform physical work will largely be tied to the degree to which your schizophrenia hinders you from being in public without assistance. Those who require a greater degree of supervision to be among the general population safely will be less likely to be able to keep gainful employment. While some schizophrenics whose symptoms are well managed may be able to find work, there are others whose disability makes it impossible to perform any kind of meaningful work, and these are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

    Veterans With Schizophrenia Should Get Legal Help

    Living with Schizophrenia: You May Qualify for SSI

    Veterans who have complex mental conditions like schizophrenia should consider hiring an experienced attorney or VA claims agent to represent them. A team of legal experts can handle gathering the necessary medical records and doctors opinions, and can manage the hearing process.

    If youve received a diagnosis of schizophrenia but have not received benefits yet, or your claim has been denied, talk to an experienced VA claims expert or disability attorney at the Rep for Vets. Weve successfully fought to win veterans with schizophrenia significant claims, including back pay going back decades. Get in touch today to discuss your claim.


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    Applicants Who Suffer From A Complex Mental Disorder Like Psychosis Should Consult An Experienced Disability Attorney

    Because a person with psychosis frequently experiences difficulty with concentration, memory, and dysfunctional thought patterns, they may not be capable of representing themselves. A qualified disability lawyer can obtain medical records and physician statements and manage appeals and hearings, making a positive result much more likely.

    In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.

    The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.
  • The Duration of Work test. Whether you have worked long enough to be covered under SSDI.
  • The Current Work Test. Whether you worked recently enough for the work to actually count toward coverage.
  • The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
  • Are you working? Your disability must be total.
  • Is your medical condition severe? Your disability must be severe enough to interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, and remembering.
  • Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments? The SSA has a List of Impairments that automatically qualify as severe disabilities. If your disease is not listed this does not mean you cannot get disability, it means you must prove you cannot maintain employment due to your limitations.
  • More details can be found on our Qualifying for Disability page.

    Meeting A Disability Listing For Schizophrenia

    The Social Security Administration will automatically approve you for disability benefits for schizophrenia if you meet the requirements of Listing 12.03, Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, in its Listing of Impairments. disorder, and substance/medication-induced psychotic disorder.)

    To be eligible for benefits under this disability listing, you must have medical evidence showing that you have one or more of the following symptoms on a persistent basis, despite taking medication:

    • hallucinations or delusions
    • illogical thoughts and other disorganized thinking as evidenced by speech, or
    • a catatonic state or grossly disorganized behavior.

    In addition to these signs and symptoms, Social Security will need proof of how your disorder limits you. You don’t need to prove specific limitations if your disorder has persisted for at least two years and you have either been receiving intensive medical treatment and mental health therapy or have been living in a highly structured setting that diminishes your symptoms. You will need to prove that you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands that are not already part of your daily life.

    If this doesn’t apply to you, you must show that you have an extreme limitation in at least one of the following areas, or a “marked” limitation in at least two of the following areas:

    Note that Social Security defines “marked” as less than extreme, but worse than moderate.

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