Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder that negatively affects the way a person’s brain processes information and forms thoughts. It is a notoriously debilitating condition that typically progresses with age and creates chronic effects that are sometimes not manageable through medication.

If someone in your family is diagnosed with schizophrenia, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Disabling Effects of Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia have a difficult time interacting with others and are usually unable to function well enough to hold down a job. Some of the more severe effects of this mental disorder include:

  • Hearing voices
  • Paranoia
  • Visions
  • Extreme fear
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Incoherent speech
  • Prolonged staring
  • Flat affect
  • Detachment from reality
  • Delusions
  • Uncontrollable emotions
  • Hallucinations
  • Poor decision making
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of motivation
  • Movement disorders
  • Poor information retention

Proving Disability in Schizophrenics

The SSD application process should be focused on proving that the applicant has a definitive diagnosis. You may need to provide extensive diagnostic proof, since many of these symptoms are present in other mental and neurological disorders. Multiple mental illness experts may need to observe the symptoms and effects over time (6 months or longer), and carefully document the patient’s behavioral patterns. Other disorders will need to be ruled out with a systematic process.

Hiring an Attorney to Prove Schizophrenia Disability

Before you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, consider hiring a skilled attorney who understands how the federal government evaluates applications. An experienced lawyer who has handled other clients with mental disabilities can give you valuable guidance on how to proceed and how to improve your application.

If you’re wondering why you should hire a lawyer, consider the fact that two-thirds of all applications for disability benefits are denied. With those kinds of odds, you need all the help you can get. Your lawyer can explain the application process and help you decide whether to apply for SSD or SSI.

For personalized information on qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits with a mental disorder like schizophrenia, please use our extensive lawyer directory to contact an SSD lawyer near you.