If you have schizophrenia, this does not necessarily mean you can claim Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) decides whether you get these benefits or not.
Schizophrenia, like many psychological illnesses, is not easy for others to see. There is no magical test to diagnose schizophrenia, so it relies on the expert opinion of a psychiatrist. They could use a brain scan to rule out other options, but the basis of their diagnosis will be interviews with you and your family. If they prescribe you drugs or treatment, the effects of this can also play a role in their final diagnosis.
To qualify for benefits based on schizophrenia, you need to show you suffer from the following symptoms:
- Social withdrawal
- Catatonic behavior
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Incoherent or illogical thought patterns
If you comply with the above, but your condition is not severe enough to warrant full-time care, you need to comply with two more SSA requirements:
- Your medical report must say you have had the psychotic disorder for at least two years and that it affects your ability to work.
- You need to prove you need continual support such as assisted living arrangements.
It may be apparent to you and those around you, that you need SSDI benefits. However, proving it to the satisfaction of the (SDA) can be challenging, to say the least. An SSDI attorney can help your chances of getting the benefits you need. They understand the documentation and arguments required to increase your chance of success.