Is Schizophrenia A Disability?

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Schizophrenia is so uncommon that we often tend to forget that it can be debilitating for the person undergoing it. So, is Schizophrenia a disability? Is it classified as such by the US government, and do patients get disability benefits? Let’s find out

Schizophrenia is a disability that impacts various facets of life: behaving, thinking, and accomplishing small aspects of daily life. Less than one percent of the US population is affected by Schizophrenia. 

Various myths prevail about schizophrenia in society. A person who has Schizophrenia not only suffers from hallucinations and delusions and tends to ignore personal hygiene. 

Schizophrenia becomes inevitable to provide assistance and appropriate counseling so that the person can lead an everyday life. This article is a visual guide to multiple aspects of Schizophrenia. 

Is Schizophrenia A Disability

Is Schizophrenia A Disability?

How is Schizphrenia Diagnosed?

Schizophrenia is diagnosed through verbal interviews. Thus, the psychiatrist communicates with the patient and the person’s close family members. The immediate family members can explain the sudden change in the person’s behavior and medical and family history.

Psychiatrists are also concerned about the reactions to the medication recommended for treating the symptoms. A psychiatrist will not suggest any medical test as no medical test is used to determine Schizophrenia, but it can help them check out the head’s physical conditions.

What challenges do Schizophrenia patients face?

In drastic cases, Schizophrenia can be disabling. However, this is not true in all cases. When a person is given proper medical treatment, a good environment, and counseling, then the person can lead a life almost similar to others. The key phrase used here is ‘almost similar.’ 

Patients with Schizophrenia will behave differently during social interactions, even during a period of relative health. The symptoms depend upon the condition of Schizophrenia. Certain people who suffer from milder Schizophrenia can accomplish their tasks independently and adequately. 

One of the most common challenges for schizophrenia patients is to tackle their daily responsibilities. Certain people experience only milder symptoms; however, many people suffer from severe to moderate symptoms. These symptoms can be diminished only with the help of appropriate medical treatment.

This is the core difficulty faced by them. People need to take care of themselves before they can step out into society. If the patient cannot achieve these small tasks of the daily routine like cleaning and feeding, then it may become difficult for them to carry on other activities and tasks. 

You might also like to read: Can You Get Disability For Panic Disorder

Myths And Misperceptions About Schizophrenia

#1 Myth: They react violently to every situation 

Perception: The person who has Schizophrenia rarely behaves violently. A considerable percentage of people who have Schizophrenia never act violently or depict any dangerous behavior. 

However, certain people might become violent if they suffer from the symptoms of psychosis. This may happen due to the impact of delusions and hallucinations. A small number of people behave violently due to improper social support and substance abuse.

Is Schizophrenia A Disability

#2 Myth: They have dissociative identity disorder

Perception: This is one of the most common myths about schizophrenia patients. This myth sustains because schizophrenia patients suffer from breakdowns between emotions, behavior, and thoughts. Multiple personality disorder is also called split personality.

The emotions may become inadequate due to the occurrence of delusions and hallucinations. People misunderstand it as a split personality because the person behaves positively and sometimes reacts oppositely. 

They can not concentrate adequately, and they do not have an interest in their everyday activities—these changes in behavior force people to think of it as a split personality disorder.

#3 Myth: People with Schizophrenia can’t manage a job. 

Perception: When a person has mild Schizophrenia, they can work quite correctly. If they take their medication adequately and any psychosocial treatment, they can function correctly. Around two million Americans who have Schizophrenia can improve their condition gradually if they get adequate treatment. 

You might also like to read: Can You Get Disability For Borderline Personality Disorder?

Schizophrenia Condition And Symptoms

Schizophrenia includes multiple problems related to emotions, changes in behavior, and cognitive problems. 

Is Schizophrenia A Disability


A person who has Schizophrenia visualizes things or listens to the things which don’t exist in the real world. However, they can still notice all the aspects of everyday life. 

They can suffer from hallucination in any sense; however, hearing different voices is one of the most common hallucinations schizophrenia patients suffer from. 

Abnormal motor behavior

Abnormal behavior can include opposite behavior, inadequate poster, not responding to you, or performing useless moments. When it comes to highly disorganized behavior, they may make childlike mistakes or stubborn behavior. They cannot concentrate on one thing, and thus it becomes difficult for them to accomplish any task. 

Disorganized speech

They cannot communicate properly, and their response to a particular question may be wholly irrelevant or opposite. However, they may associate unmeaningful words together that can’t be understood, such as play salad. This happens rarely.

Is Schizophrenia A Disability

Negative symptoms

This refers to the reduced ability to function appropriately. For instance, the person may avoid bathing and taking care of themselves and feel a lack of emotions. They may be not interested in daily activities or not engaged in social gatherings and functions. 


Delusions refer to assuming fraudulent behavior related to something. For instance, the person is harassing you, the person likes you, being avoided and harmed. 

You might also like to read: Can You Get Disability For OCD?

Getting Disability Benefits For Schizophrenia 

Schizophrenia is a medical condition in which the person has different perceptions than reality. Schizophrenic people usually suffer from hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, speech, and disorganized thought problems. 

Some patients notice positive impacts of medication; however, some continue to experience the symptoms despite taking medications. Suppose the medicines are not helping you cure or you cannot accomplish the task due to the pills. 

In that case, you need to be eligible for the social security disability benefits. Let’s look at how you can qualify for SSI or SSDI. 

Qualifying For Disability Benefits Based On Schizophrenia

For eligibility for supplemental security income (SSI) or social security disability insurance ( SSDI) benefits for Schizophrenia, you have to explain that you have been diagnosed with this medical condition and you can’t accomplish your work for the past year or more. 

You also need to check out the social security requirements for Schizophrenia to be eligible for the benefits because of less functional capacity. 

Is Schizophrenia A Disability

Meeting A Disability Listing For Schizophrenia

The social security administration will approve you if you meet the eligibility requirements for the benefits. You must have medical proof showing that you regularly suffer from the following symptoms despite consuming the medication. 

  • Being non-responsive to a particular behavior or having stiff muscles.
  • Suffering delusions and hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech and irrational thoughts. 

Along with these signs and symptoms, you have to prove that this disorder limits you from achieving your daily activities. If you have had Schizophrenia for two years or more, you don’t need proof of how it hampers your everyday life. 

You have to prove that you have the least ability to adjust to the changes in the vicinity. If these things don’t match you, you need to prove that you suffer from limitations in any of the following cases. 

  • Not being able to concentrate while performing a particular task.
  • Not to change as per the environmental conditions and take charge of personal hygiene.
  • Not being socially active.
  • Learning, remembering, or applying useful information while accomplishing tasks. 

You might also like to read: Can You Get Disability With Tourette’s Syndrome?

What Is A Homeless With Schizophrenia Presumptive Disability Pilot?

HSPD pilot is a presumptive disability determination that provides around six months of SSI payments before an award. It tests whether assisting in the application process enhances the SSI application results or not. For instance, it is strengthening the allowance rate and reducing the period to be aware of the selective communities present in the USA. 

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Are there any benefits to Schizophrenia?

Due to the advantageous traits of Schizophrenia, the gene has been present in human beings. The benefits of Schizophrenia are high mathematical reasoning, high creativity levels, and an enhanced IQ. 

#2. Can you drive with Schizophrenia?

Driving with Schizophrenia can affect your driving skills, reducing your ability to drive the vehicle. 

#3. Is Schizophrenia a disorder or illness?

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that impacts the thinking process and behavior of the person. Lack of motivation is one of the most common problems for schizophrenic patients. 

#4. Schizophrenia disability denied?

Even if you visit the psychiatrist regularly, and they don’t clearly explain that you have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, your schizophrenia claim is denied. If the doctor’s medical notes are inappropriate, then SSA will not approve your claim. 

#5. What are the stages of Schizophrenia?

The three main prominent stages of Schizophrenia include:
Prodromal: This is the earliest stage of Schizophrenia, which mostly goes unnoticed. People can hardly tell if a person is suffering from this disorder until they reach the second stage.
Active: At this stage, people start showing the symptoms of Schizophrenia. They will start talking without any relevance and tell you stories of hallucinations and delusions. 
Residual: Some clinicians don’t identify this as the third stage of Schizophrenia, but still some describe this phase while discussing symptoms. This phase is pretty similar to the first stage. Patients in this phase show lack of emotions, and most of the other symptoms, which are pretty visible in the second phase, vanish. 

A Few Final Words

Schizophrenia is a condition in which the person doesn’t take an interest in daily activities of life. They don’t participate in social activities and stay away from all events. We have mentioned some common myths related to Schizophrenia in this article.

The people who have Schizophrenia have sound mathematical reasoning and a high IQ. They are more creative in comparison to others. You will come across all the essential information related to Schizophrenia. We thank you for considering our article to be helpful for you. 

Thank you for reading the article, we hope it covered all the information that you need to help yourself or someone you know who suffers from Schizophrenia. If you have any doubts or queries, do write to us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.