Social Security Disability Attorneys for Schizophrenia

Did your doctor diagnose you with schizophrenia? Does it affect your physical or mental ability to return to your job? If so, you might be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. The Indiana Social Security Disability lawyers of Hankey Law Office have over 80 years of combined legal experience filing initial applications and appealing denied claims. You deserve monthly payments to supplement your lost income and afford necessary medical treatment.

Disability benefits can pay for hospitalization, prescriptions, and other expenses associated with a disabling condition, such as schizophrenia. At Hankey Law Office, we know how hard it can be to earn a living when a chronic brain disorder impairs your ability to function. Our team of dedicated and experienced Social Security Disability attorneys can take on the responsibility of your entire case. We will fight for the maximum benefits you need to treat your diagnosed disability.

Call us today at (317) 634-8565 for your initial free consultation to discuss your case.

Common Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that causes a range of symptoms. It can significantly limit a person’s ability to perform routine tasks and live a normal life. Unfortunately, anyone diagnosed with schizophrenia might require long-term treatment. If diagnosed early enough, it’s possible to effectively manage symptoms and possibly prevent any severe complications from developing.

The most common symptoms of schizophrenia are:

  • Hallucinations – Hearing or seeing things that don’t exist. The most common type of hallucination is hearing voices.
  • Delusions – False beliefs detached from reality.
  • Abnormal motor behavior – Unpredictable agitation, inappropriate posture, and excessive movement are typical. The affected person may find it challenging to perform or complete specific tasks.
  • Disorganized thinking –  This kind of thinking can be inferred from the affected person’s incoherent speech. Communicating effectively with other people is difficult for them.
  • Negative symptoms – Inability to function as usual in everyday life. The affected person may exhibit poor personal hygiene or lack of eye contact while speaking to someone.

The symptoms you experience could range widely in severity. Some people have periods of remission where they don’t suffer any adverse effects of the disorder for weeks or months. Others experience worsening symptoms over time.

What Is Social Security Disability?

Social Security Disability (SSD) is a federal benefit you can seek to supplement your lost income. Anyone receiving a paycheck from work has had Social Security taxes taken out. When you’re collecting SSD benefits, your payments come from those taxes.

Your monthly benefits will depend on how many years you worked before developing schizophrenia and your average monthly wages. You can’t begin collecting SSD payments until your disability lasts for at least six months. If you’re able to return to work before then, you won’t be eligible for benefits.

What Is Supplemental Security Income?

Individuals and couples ineligible for Social Security Disability can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Instead of receiving payments from social security taxes, you would receive them from a general tax fund. This benefit is specifically for disabled people who have minimal or no income.

You must resources that don’t exceed a certain dollar value. Those resources include such items as:

  • Vehicles
  • Cash
  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks
  • Land
  • Personal property

Individuals and couples qualifying for SSI might also be able to receive food stamps, Medicaid insurance, and cash benefits to pay for food, housing, and other basic needs.

Common Reasons for Denied Social Security Disability Claims

When you apply for benefits, you must submit a complete and accurate application with all available evidence of your schizophrenia diagnosis. You must also show that it’s a disabling condition that prevents you from going back to work.

Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t approve every application they receive. Knowing the most common reasons they might deny someone’s SSD claim could prevent you from making similar mistakes. Frequent reasons for denials include:

  • The applicant is currently employed – If you’re still working or returned to your job before the waiting period ended, you won’t be eligible for benefits. You must have an ongoing disability preventing you from maintaining any kind of employment.
  • Missing medical records – It’s critical that you submit complete records of your schizophrenia diagnosis and treatment. Without all documentation, the SSA can’t make an informed decision.
  • No disability is defined and documented – Your medical records must include your medical condition and qualifying symptoms found in the listing of impairments.
  • Previously denied claim – If you already tried to file a claim for benefits before and received a denial notice, you can’t reapply. You must file an appeal.

The Social Security Administration should include the reasons they denied your claim and instructions on how to appeal the decision when they send you the denial notice. The steps you take next will depend on the level of appeal listed on the notice.

  • Reconsideration – The denied claim may spring from a medical issue, your income, resources, or living arrangements. Someone not involved in the initial review process will review the original application and any new evidence to determine whether your appeal was successful.
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge – You can argue your case in front of a judge explaining why you believe you deserve SSD benefits. They will review all available documentation associated with your schizophrenia diagnosis to make their decision.
  • Appeals Council review – The Council will look at your request and determine if the decision made by the Social Security Administration should stand. If they approve your appeal, they will submit it to an administrative law judge for review or handle the case themselves.
  • Federal Court review – If the Appeals Council denies your request for a review, you can file a lawsuit in the federal district court.

Appeals are complex processes that a qualified Social Security Disability attorney should handle. Hankey Law Office has decades of experience filing appeals and reaching favorable outcomes. You’re already facing a debilitating diagnosis and stressful journey towards finding the proper treatment. You shouldn’t bear the burden of handling a legal case too. You can depend on us to be your advocate and fight for the maximum benefits you deserve.

Contact Us

The Social Security Disability attorneys of Hankey Law Office care about our clients. We will make sure to meet your needs and work hard to achieve your goals. You will be our top priority as we’re working on your claim or appeal to recover the SSD or SSI benefits necessary to afford your expenses.

If schizophrenia has kept you out of work, call (317) 634-8565 immediately for a free consultation.