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What is the criteria to receive SSD benefits for schizophrenia?

Georgia residents who are dealing with mental issues might be under the impression that they have nowhere to turn. These issues can be difficult to diagnose and the symptoms hard to recognize. Those who are facing these difficulties may be suffering with schizophrenia, paranoia or some other form of psychotic disorder causing them to be unable to work. The Social Security Administration has certain criteria allowing those who meet the requirements to receive disability payments.

To receive SSD benefits, it is necessary to meet the required level of severity. These are categorized into A, B and C. It is possible to be approved when A and B are met or when C alone is met. For A, there must be symptoms including: delusions or hallucinations; catatonia or gross disorganization; acting incoherently; blunt, flat or inappropriate affect; or emotional withdrawal and/or isolation. For B, there must be two of: a market restriction of the activities of daily living; marked difficulty to maintain social functioning; marked difficulty to maintain concentration; or repetitive incidents of decompensation with each being of an extended duration.

For category C, there must be a medical documentation that there was a paranoid, schizophrenic or other form of psychotic disorder that lasted for a minimum of two years and led to an inability to do basic work. The symptoms can be reduced in severity by medication or psychosocial treatment. There must also be one of: repeated incidents of decompensation; process in which a marginal adjustment with a minute increase in mental demands results in decompensation; or a current history of one year or more of not being able to function away from a living arrangement that is highly supportive with the need for that type of arrangement to continue.

Those who are confronted with mental disorders should know that they might meet the requirements to receive SSD benefits. Others might have tried to receive SSD benefits, but were denied. Speaking to an experienced legal professional who can help with Social Security disability claims linked to mental illness can be the first step in filing for and receiving benefits or appealing a claim that was denied.

Source: ssa.gov, "12.03 Schizophrenic, paranoid and other psychotic disorders," accessed on Feb. 1, 2016

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