Mental illness, also referred to as psychiatric disorder and mental disorder, is an umbrella term for many mental health conditions. These conditions affect the way a person behaves, thinks, and feels emotionally. Schizoaffective disorder is a specific mental illness that can severely impact your day-to-day life and can become so disabling you may not be able to work. If this is the case, it’s possible to receive disability benefits from Social Security. However, it’s helpful to first work with a disability attorney to get your claim approved.  

There are two basic paths to qualifying for disability benefits. The first is to match the medical criteria in the “Blue Book,” the Social Security Administration’s list of disabling conditions. If your symptoms match the requirements in the listings, you will likely qualify for disability payments.

To qualify for disability benefits for schizoaffective disorder the Blue Book specifies that you must regularly have one or more of these symptoms: hallucinations or delusions, speech that lacks a coherent message, illogical thinking, or emotional isolation. If you have these symptoms, you also must have either an extreme limitation in one or marked limitations in two of the following areas: understanding information, interacting with others, an ability to concentrate, or the capacity to manage yourself. You can also meet the schizoaffective disorder listing if your disorder has been severe and persistent for more than two years and you have achieved only marginal adjustment.

Very few people who apply for Social Security disability benefits meet the strict requirements of the Blue Book listings, but there is a second way to qualify—by proving that you are unable to perform any work due to limitations caused by schizoaffective disorder given your age, education, and past work experience.

The road to winning Social Security disability benefits is long and tricky to navigate. Mental impairment cases can be particularly difficult to win, but at Cuddigan Law we have successfully fought for our clients and won many of these cases. Statistics from the Government Accounting Office show that you are three times more likely to get the benefits you have rightfully earned if you are represented by an experienced disability attorney. If you are unable to work because of schizoaffective disorder or any type of mental disorder, call us today for a free evaluation of your situation.