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Filing for disability with Schizophrenia



 
There's a reason why most claimants will benefit from representation on a Social Security Disability or SSI claim. And that reason is the simple fact that the criteria for disability can be fairly complex. In this post, I'll demonstrate how complex it can be for those individuals who are applying for disability on the basis of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is addressed in the social security administration's impairment listing manual (the blue book) in Listing 12.03, titled Schizophrenic, Paranoid, and Other Psychotic Disorders. The actual reading of the listing is fairly extended, but it can be summarized as follows.

To qualify for disability benefits by either meeting or equaling the specifications of listing 12.03, a disability applicant's records must show the existence of intermittent or continuous--

A) delusions or hallucinations

or

B) catatonic or other grossly disorganized behavior

or

C) A state of llogical thinking, incoherence, loosening of associations, or poverty of content of speech (associated with either a blunt, flat, or inappropriate display of mood or affect)

or

D) Emotional withdrawal and/or isolation

For a claimant to satisfy the requirements of listing 12.03, their records must also indicate that at least two of the following apply:

A) Markedly restricted daily activities;

B) Marked restrictions in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace;

C) Marked restriction in the ability to maintain social functioning;

D) Extended and repeated episodes of decompensation;



Now, if a disability applicant does not qualify for disability on the basis of the aforementioned criteria, then listing 12.03 also sets forth the following criteria by which an individual may be approved if they have schizophrenia. In this second set of criteria, a claimant must be able to show ---

A) A medically documented history of a psychotic disorder (schizophrenia, paranoid, or other) that has lasted at least 2 years and has resulted in a limitation of the ability to do basic work activities.

B) The medical history must show the existence of repeated and extended episodes of decompensation or the existence of the inability to function outside a highly supportive living arrangement for at least one full year or the existence of a residual disease process whose effects are far-reaching enough that even a minimal increase in mental demands, or even a minimal change in environment, would be predicted to cause the individual to decompensate.

Listing 12.03 (Schizophrenic, Paranoid, and Other Psychotic Disorders) can seem fairly complicated. And it is. Even disability examiners who have handled hundreds of psychotic disorder cases need to refer to the impairment listing manual each time they evaluate a case involving schizophrenia. Because the listing is detailed enough to require it.

Because the listing approval requirements for many conditions are this complex (or more complex), claimants who go to disability hearings before federal administrative law judges without representation will generally be at a disadvantage versus represented claimants.

Of course, satisfying the requirements of a listing is not the only way to get approved for disability. Most applicants actually get approved via a Medical Vocational Allowance.








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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

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Filing and applying for disability in Texas








For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.