A number of our Social Security Disability clients suffer from schizophrenia. Individuals suffering from this disorder frequently experience the following:
- audio or visual hallucinations,
- unusual speech, and
- isolation or withdrawal.
The course of prescribed treatment includes antipsychotic medications. While not all individuals who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia will be found disabled under Social Security rules, one source of information for people with schizophrenia that we recommend is www.schizophrenia.com. This Web site is a source from the non-profit community full of information and resources useful to those suffering from the disease and to their loved ones.
Recently we have assisted individuals with severe schizophrenia in getting Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income. Their cases were among the more severe of those suffering with the disease. The degree of frequency and severity of an individual’s symptoms are unique in each case and will determine, to a large degree, whether an individual claim will be granted benefits.
Some diseases, such as schizophrenia, are included in Social Security’s Listing of impairments. But other diseases may not be included in the Listings. In some instances, a disease, while not Listed, is addressed in a Social Security Ruling. The Rulings offer guidance but do not set out specific criteria for an award of benefits. Other diseases are not in the Listings or recognized in a Social Security Ruling.
Regardless of the disease, you or your lawyer should have the following:
- a good working list of your symptoms,
- a knowledge of the degree of certainty of your diagnosis,
- a general understanding of the consistency between your symptoms and your diagnosis,
- a good understanding of what evidence might best support your contention that your symptoms are disabling, and
- which legal theory will most likely be accepted by the Social Security Administration given the particular facts of the entire case.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from severe schizophrenia, consider contacting www.schizophrenia.com for additional information on the disorder. If you are considering a Social Security Disability claim, we advise you to speak with an attorney. We handle cases everywhere in Texas, and we can assist with a referral if we are unable to assist you.