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Does Schizoaffective Disorder Count As A Disability?

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health condition that is largely associated with the symptoms of schizophrenia. If you have been asking yourself if you can receive disability benefits for schizoaffective disorder, the answer is yes, you can. However, merely being diagnosed with the condition is not enough. 

Qualifying for SSD benefits can be challenging, especially because the laws are complicated. However, if you are forced to quit work because of the condition, you deserve to enjoy SSD benefits. Contact Pekas Smith: Arizona Disability Attorneys to explore your legal options. 

What is schizoaffective disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health condition that resembles another mental health condition known as schizophrenia. In some cases, people are misdiagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but schizoaffective disorder is a different condition. Here are some of the key symptoms associated with it. 

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusional thinking
  • Illogical decision-making
  • Disorganized speech
  • Mood disorders
  • Mania
  • Depression

Can you get disability benefits if you suffer from a schizoaffective disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is a listed impairment in the blue book. Therefore, people who are medically diagnosed with the condition can apply for the benefits. However, being diagnosed may not be enough. The Arizona Social Security Administration uses a 5-step process to decide if you deserve the benefits. 

  • Are you working?

Your condition must be severe enough to force you to stay home and avoid work. The SSA will monitor your work activity. If it is found that your income is above the SGA limit, then you will not be granted the benefits. If it is found that your income is less than that, then they move to the next step. 

  • Is your medical condition “severe”?

Your medical condition must be severe enough to affect your lifestyle, such as walking, sitting, standing, lifting, carrying, understanding, etc. If you suffer from these conditions, you will need to prove that the same is expected to last for at least one year or result in death. 

  • Does your medical condition meet the severity of the listing?

Being diagnosed is not enough. Even with diseases, there are different levels of severity. For example, people can have a high and low fever, the former being more serious than the latter. Your impairment must meet the severity of the listing. 

  • Can you do any of the jobs you have done in the past 15 years?

Before awarding you the benefits, the SSA will see if your physical and mental health allows you to participate in any form of employment you have done in the past 15 years. If yes, then you do not receive the benefits. 

  • Can you do any other work?

Lastly, they will try to see if you can do any other type of job. If you can, you won’t be considered disabled and vice versa. 

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