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Disability Law Offices of Tony Adderley

Does Schizophrenia Count As A Disability?

  • By: Tony Adderley
  • Published: March 16, 2015
Social Security Disability In California

Some people are still uneducated about schizophrenia, but it’s really more common than you may think. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that may prevent an individual from being able to work, and it is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a disabling condition. If you or someone that you love has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, you may be able to receive monthly Social Security disability benefit payments, but you’ll want and need the help of an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney.

The first step toward receiving benefits is providing the medical documentation of symptoms that are consistent with schizophrenia, including delusions or hallucinations, catatonic or disorganized behavior, incoherence, illogical thinking, poor speech patterns, and emotional withdrawal or isolation. You must also show that your symptoms cause at least two of these conditions:

– substantial impairments in your daily living activities
– substantial impairments in your ability to function socially
– substantial impairments in your ability to concentrate
– “decompensation” episodes lasting at least two weeks, at least three times a year

Some long-term schizophrenia patients have found medications that allow them function relatively well. If your symptoms of schizophrenia are not currently severe enough to cause the substantial impairments listed above, you might still be considered disabled by the SSA if you would decompensate with any increased demands on you or any changes to your environment. Even if your condition does not meet the specific requirements of the SSA, you may still qualify for benefits if your symptoms prevent you from working full-time.

Social Security needs more than a description of your symptoms. The SSA requires evidence showing your diagnoses, therapies, and hospital visits. No objective tests like x-rays or blood exams can prove a diagnosis of schizophrenia, so it is imperative to have records from mental health specialists who have treated you and accurately assessed your symptoms. It’s also imperative in the Los Angeles area to have the help of an experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability attorney who knows what it takes to prevail on your behalf. If you’re unable to work because of schizophrenia or any other condition, make the call today.

About the Author Tony Adderley has been working as a professional advocate for
individuals entitled to Social Security Disability (SSD) and worker’s
compensation benefits for more than 20 years.