A person can qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits based on severe schizophrenia, paranoia, or other psychotic disorders. If a person is not working and has been diagnosed with one of these severe conditions, the Social Security Administration will determine whether the person is disabled under a listing or whether jobs exists considering the person’s residual abilities. In terms of the listing (SSA’s Bluebook), it states:
12.03 Schizophrenic, paranoid and other psychotic disorders: Characterized by the onset of psychotic features with deterioration from a previous level of functioning. The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied, or when the requirements in C are satisfied.
A. Medically documented persistence, either continuous or intermittent, of one or more of the following:
1. Delusions or hallucinations; or
2. Catatonic or other grossly disorganized behavior; or
3. Incoherence, loosening of associations, illogical thinking, or poverty of content of speech if associated with one of the following:
a. Blunt affect; or
b. Flat affect; or
c. Inappropriate affect;
4. Emotional withdrawal and/or isolation;
B. Resulting in at least two of the following:
1. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or
2. Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or
3. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or
4. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration;
C. Medically documented history of a chronic schizophrenic, paranoid, or other psychotic disorder of at least 2 years’ duration that has caused more than a minimal limitation of ability to do basic work activities, with symptoms or signs currently attenuated by medication or psychosocial support, and one of the following:
1. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration; or
2. A residual disease process that has resulted in such marginal adjustment that even a minimal increase in mental demands or change in the environment would be predicted to cause the individual to decompensate; or
3. Current history of 1 or more years’ inability to function outside a highly supportive living arrangement, with an indication of continued need for such an arrangement.
If a listing is not me, the impairments are considered to determine whether the person can return to past employment or whether jobs exist in the local and national economy.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee.