Schizophrenia


img_doctorSchizophrenic, paranoid and other psychotic disorders are recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as qualifying conditions for receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, the SSA evaluates each case individually to determine whether or not the effects of the disorder would preclude you from doing any kind of work for a period of at least twelve months.

In the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security manual (also known as the Blue Book), The Social Security Administration classifies Schizophrenic, paranoid and other psychotic disorders as a Mental Disorders, which are characterized by the onset of psychotic features with deterioration from a previous level of functioning. When evaluating individual cases, the SSA looks for medically documented findings of one or more of the following:

  • Delusions or hallucinations.
  • Catatonic or other grossly disorganized behavior.
  • Incoherence, loosening of associations, illogical thinking, or poverty of content of speech if associated with one of the following: blunt affect, flat affect, inappropriate affect.
  • Emotional withdrawal and/or isolation

These medically documented findings must result in at least two of the following conditions:

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

Or a medically documented history of a chronic schizophrenic, paranoid, or other psychotic disorder of at least two years’ duration that has caused more than a minimal limitation of ability to do basic work activities, with symptoms or signs currently attenuated by medication or psychosocial support, and one of the following:

  • Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.
  • A residual disease process that has resulted in such marginal adjustment that even a minimal increase in mental demands or change in the environment would be predicted to cause the individual to decompensate.
  • Current history of one or more years’ inability to function outside a highly supportive living arrangement, with an indication of continued need for such an arrangement.

At the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd., we are experienced in handling social security disability claims related to schizophrenic, paranoid and other psychotic disorders. We have experience in mental illness cases including but not limited to anxiety disorders, bipolar, depression, manic depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. We understand what the SSA is looking for when evaluating claims, and are here to be your tough advocates regardless of the level of your appeal.

We also realize that this is a difficult time, and are here to answer your questions. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.