Is schizophrenia a disability? Get perks and more (2023)

Is schizophrenia a disability? Get perks and more (1)Share on Pinterest

Schizophrenia can make it harder to get, keep, or perform the responsibilities of a job. For some people, schizophrenia can also make it more difficult to take care of their own needs during times when symptoms increase.

This is where social security comes into play.

RespectivelySection 12.03the Social Security Administration (SSA),schizophreniais listed as one of the conditions that may qualify for disability benefits. However, the mere fact of being diagnosed with schizophrenia does not mean that you are automatically entitled to a disability pension.

In this article, you'll learn more about Social Security benefits for schizophrenia and what you need to do to qualify for disability assistance, benefits, and income.

What is a disability?

oSSAdefines a disability as a physical or mental condition that causes an "inability to engage in essential gainful employment" and that is "likely fatal or lasts for an uninterrupted period of at least 12 years or is expected to last for months."

It is important to realize that people do not always have exactly the same experiences with schizophrenia. Symptoms can change over time. For many people with the disease, schizophrenia has periods of remission, when symptoms are mild, and periods of relapse, when they are more pronounced. These cycles can make it difficult to maintain employment in the long term.

Schizophrenia can affect a number of skills and abilities that are often important at work. for example in aStudies 2020Using 158 people with schizophrenia, the researchers identified several factors that determined whether people could hold their jobs for more than 6 months. These included:

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  • the extent of symptoms of psychosis
  • a hostile or accusatory communication style
  • the ability to correctly understand the motives, feelings and behavior of other people
  • general functionality
  • the ability to interact well socially with others

investigatorI also found this:

  • People assigned female at birth who have had schizophrenia are more likely to work part-time.
  • People with early-onset schizophrenia may not have developed the professional, social, or educational skills necessary for employment.
  • Sometimes people are limited at work by a feeling of helplessness or lack of motivation.
  • Some people with schizophrenia are able to work longer hours in rural areas or in jobs that require less social interaction.
  • Many people with schizophrenia are employed in low-paying, menial jobs.
  • Other health problems, including depression, can affect the employment of people with schizophrenia.

While it's clear that this condition is affecting the jobs of many people, it's important to keep in mind that everyone's experiences are different.

It's also goodProofthat pre-employment training, social skills training, effective precautions,independent placement, and the support of family and friends can help people with serious mental health problems apply for, get an education, and keep it.

The answer may depend on your symptoms and the nature of your job.

You can still work if you have schizophrenia if:

  • His symptoms are well controlled with medication.
  • His work environment is welcoming and supportive.
  • You experience remission
  • You are able to carry out your professional duties most of the time.

Applying for a disability pension does not mean that you have to stop working completely.

SSA is considering thefull picture of your workwhen deciding if you are entitled to benefits. Still, it's important to understand that your disability status and specific benefits may be affected.various factors, Including:

  • the number of hours you work
  • the professional duties performed
  • the amount of money you earn
  • the length of time you are unemployed due to disability

The SSA has strict rules for determining if someone is eligible to receive Social Security income.

(Video) Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits If You Have Schizophrenia

The first rule concerns your professional history. To qualify, you must have worked in a job where you paid Social Security taxes long enough to earn 40 Social Security work points. Generally people earn 4 credits per year. Credits are based on the amount of money you earn. At least 20 of your job points must have been earned in the last ten years.

Some people who do not have enough work experience can still receive Social Security Income (SSI) instead of disability income.

The second rule concerns your disability. To be eligible for benefits, you must have a medically determined mental health condition that prevents you from performing work that provides significant income. This condition must last at least 12 months.

To determine if schizophrenia prevents you from working, the SSA is consideringfive questions:

  1. you work
  2. Is your condition so severe that you cannot perform work-related activities for 12 months or more?
  3. Is the condition you have one of SSA's "listed impairments"?
  4. Is schizophrenia keeping you from doing the job you used to do?
  5. Can you do other jobs with your education, skills, and career path?

Some people are entitled to benefits based on their parents' employment history rather than their own. This generally applies if you were diagnosed with schizophrenia before the age of 22 and one of your parents died or if you are receiving a disability pension.

Check your eligibility

You can use SSA to check what benefits you can getBenefits Eligibility Screening Tool.

You can apply for a disability pensiononline.

(Video) Schizophrenia and Social Security Disability

Part of the process is creating a social security account, which you can use to check the status of your application later. You can also apply by mail, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or visit oneOn-Site SSA Office.

Once you have applied, you can prepare for your interview with a local SSA representative. You must collect documents to support your application. You will find a detailed checklistHere.

In short, you need official proof of:

  • your identity
  • citizenship
  • civil status
  • any children you have
  • completed military service
  • 2 years as an employee or self-employed
  • Bank information
  • Contact information for doctors who have diagnosed and treated you
  • psychiatric or diagnostic tests
  • recipes you take
  • Explanations of how schizophrenia has affected your job or work
  • Your education and professional training

This process can seem a bit overwhelming. If you cannot locate all the documents before your interview, ask your SSA representative to suggest alternatives or replacements.

You will receive a letter specifying the time, date and place of the interview. You should plan about an hour for the interview. If you completed the application online, your interview may take less time.

After the interview, a decision on your merits can take 3-5 months. During this time, you may be required to provide additional documents or have a diagnostic test performed.

If your application is denied, and most are, you canchallenge the decision. You may want to work with a disability rights lawyer to help you prepare your appeal. Local SSA offices generally maintain lists of agencies and professionals who can help you navigate the appeal process.

The SSA provides detailed instructionsStarter kit for adults with disabilities. If you need an interpreter to help you with the application, you can find oneHere.

oNational Alliance on Mental Illnesssuggests these strategies for dealing with schizophrenia in the workplace:

  • Ask a doctor or psychologist to write you a letter confirming your diagnosis. You do not have to report your diagnosis to your employer, but if you need help, this letter can help you make the necessary arrangements.
  • Work with your HR or Human Resources department to create and request the accommodations you need. Once accommodations have been identified, submit the request in writing.
  • Carefully record any conversations you have about your disability and your housing.
  • get familiar with itSick Leave and Family Leave Law. This allows you to take a leave of absence if necessary.

You may also find these job search and employment support resources helpful:

You can also contact aOnline support group for schizophreniawhile you go through the application process.

(Video) Does Schizoaffective Disorder Qualify You for Disability Benefits?

Was the Americans with Disabilities Act ist der?

oAmericans with Disabilities Act (ADA)is a set of laws that protect people with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace. They also protect people from discrimination when accessing public spaces and public services. These laws apply to people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, as well as people with visible disabilities.

The ADA outlines two important rights for people with mental health disabilities:

  • Right to privacy:This means that you do not have to tell your employer that you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia unless you want your employer to provide you with accommodation.
  • Right to Reasonable Accommodation:This means that you can ask your employer to change your work environment or change the way you do your specific job. You are entitled to these changes as long as they do not create an undue hardship for your employer.

Examples of accommodation can be:

  • Provide assistive technology to help you do your job
  • Changes in lighting or noise levels in your work area
  • Flexibility in your schedule
  • more breaks
  • Licenses that allow you to be treated

Schizophrenia can make it difficult to work, either in the short or long term. If your symptoms are likely to prevent you from performing your functions for 12 months or more, you may be eligible for SSA disability benefits.

The application process takes some time and you will need to provide evidence of your medical and professional history. As part of the process, you will also participate in a personal interview. If your application is not successful at first, don't give up. Many people get the help they need after an appeal.

If you need assistance or help, contact your local SSA office or a disability attorney. Signing up can be frustrating and time consuming, but you are definitely not alone.


1. Watch This if You're Applying for Disability in the US
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3. SS Listings | Schizophrenia Case Example
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4. How long will Social Security continue to review my mental illness condition?
5. Applying for Disability Benefits with a Mental Illness.
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6. Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance Benefits If I Have Psychosis?
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