Schizophrenia is a tragic mental illness which affects roughly 1.2% of Americans (3.2 million). Schizophrenia is no respect of persons, and it not only affects those with the illness, but it can be just as devastating for the loved ones of those suffering with the illness.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects how a sufferer experiences reality. Some symptoms include paranoia, auditory or visual hallucinations, disorganized thinking and delusions. One of the best pieces I have seen which attempts to convey what schizophrenia is like was a terrific piece done by Anderson Cooper (here); if you haven’t seen it, you should.
In the last 25 years, I have represented numerous persons suffering from schizophrenia, and my heart always goes out to them and their families. They did not ask for these problems; they didn’t do anything wrong-but suddenly their world is turned upside down. Parents have sat in my office with tears in their eyes telling me that as much as they love their adult children, they don’t know how much longer they can deal with their child’s problems. If a parent says that, what chance do you think such a person would have in holding down a full-time job?
The Social Security Administration lists schizophrenia as a condition which can be disabling when the symptoms interferes with the person’s ability to engage in sustained work activity. Listing 12.03 in the Code of Federal Regulations lays out in specifics the impairments which a sufferer has to have in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits for this condition; however, if you do not “meet or equal” this listing, you may still be entitled to disability benefits if your condition, in conjunction with any other physical or mental impairment, prevents you from returning to work you have done in the past and other substantial work you might be qualified to perform given your age, education and acquired work skills.
If you or a loved one lives in Alabama, you are suffering from the effects of schizophrenia and you believe you are disabled as the result and are entitled to Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, don’t give up. Please feel free to contact and talk to one of the experienced Alabama Disability Attorneys at Powell and Denny today.
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