Schizophrenia is a form of mental illness characterized as a neurological brain disorder. While the exact cause of schizophrenia is largely unknown, it is thought some contributing factors may include genetics, physical and psychological factors, and environmental factors that may make someone more prone to this condition than others. For others, a stressful or emotional life event may trigger a psychotic episode. Having a family history of schizophrenia places, you at high risk for schizophrenia. A small number of cases have been linked to complications experienced during pregnancy or birth.
This condition is largely uncommon, affecting approximately 20 million Americas or 1.1% of the population. Of those 20 million, males between the ages of 18 and 40 are at the highest risk of suffering from this condition. Schizophrenia is most commonly associated with hallucinations, either visual or auditory, disorganized speech, and just a general perception of being out of touch with reality. This mental illness affects an individual’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions and relate effectively with others. Symptoms to be watchful of include delusions; hallucinations; disorganized thinking or speech; disorganized motor behavior; lack of motivation; anhedonia; social withdrawal; decreased concentration; flattened affect; and alogia or poverty of speech. One symptom alone may not be indicative of suffering from this condition. The more symptoms and even the more severe the symptoms are when you should seek guidance from a mental health professional.
There are four types of schizophrenia. The first and most common form of schizophrenia is paranoid schizophrenia. This type of schizophrenia in the most basic terms is when a person interprets reality abnormally. The person may experience delusions or hallucinations, blurring the lines between what is real and what is not real. The second type of schizophrenia is catatonic schizophrenia. This form is quite rare and is generally defined as it sounds. In this case, the person’s motor function is severely impacted, reducing the individual’s ability to move and sometimes making them completely immobile. The third form of schizophrenia is disorganized schizophrenia. This individual oftentimes lacks the typical hallucinations. Instead, they exhibit disturbance in emotional expression characterized by behavior and speech. The fourth type of schizophrenia, called undifferentiated schizophrenia, is no longer recognized by the medical community. This form interferes with a person’s perception of reality. Generally, this form is a combination of 2 or more of the other forms of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a condition that requires lifelong treatment. It cannot be cured, only treated. The typical treatment for schizophrenia includes medications along with psychosocial therapy. Other forms of treatment include different forms of therapy such as support groups, rehabilitation, cognitive therapy, and behavior therapy. Maintaining consistent treatment with your mental health provider is the key to best managing your condition.
Whatever form of schizophrenia you suffer from if your symptoms are severe enough such that they impact your ability to work, applying for social security disability benefits is likely the best option for you.
Social security disability benefits are a federally run insurance program that provides both financial and health benefits for workers that find themselves unable to continue working due to a physical and/or medical condition. The disability program has two different options. The first option is for social security disability insurance benefits. The second option is for supplemental security income benefits. In this article, we will only be discussing the social security disability insurance benefits. To be eligible for the social security disability insurance program, you must have paid a sufficient amount in taxes into the social security system to have this insurance coverage. The government runs this program similar to a private insurance program. You must have paid taxes on your earned income into social security. Those taxes are similar to a “premium” you pay for private insurance. When you pay your taxes or premium, you will then have disability insurance coverage. Once you stop paying taxes on your earned income your disability insurance coverage covers you for the next five years before expiring. What this means is that you must prove you became disabled prior to your disability insurance expiring. It does not mean your benefits will stop at the end of your coverage. Just that you must prove your disability began while you had disability insurance coverage. This may be a bit confusing. An easy correlation or example would be similar to car insurance. If you are in a car accident and you request your insurance carrier to pay for the damage of your car, the insurance company will first check to make sure you have the insurance coverage and that you were covered at the time of the accident. If the accident occurred during a time when you did not have insurance, then the insurance company will not pay for the damage to your car. The same goes for social security disability insurance. If you are not covered under the disability insurance program at the time of disability, then you will not be found eligible to receive these types of benefits.
If you have questions as to whether you are covered under the disability insurance program, give us a call at the LaBovick Law Group. We can help assist you with whether you have disability insurance coverage and should be applying for this program. Your initial consultation is free!
If it is determined you have disability insurance coverage, and you believe your medical condition is preventing you from working, the next step would be to submit an application for social security disability insurance benefits. If your disability is based on schizophrenia, it is vitally important for the strength of your case to be receiving medical treatment. Further, it is also important to be following the recommended treatment of your medical provider along with abstaining from drugs and alcohol. It would also be helpful if your mental health provider submitted an opinion statement regarding your symptoms and limitations along with the attempted treatment recommendations. While suffering from schizophrenia does not guarantee you an automatic approval for disability benefits, assuming you are in regular treatment with a medical provider, your chances of being approved based upon this condition are greater than most.