If your child or teenager has schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, you could be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. You probably have a few questions about the process, such as:
- How do I know if my child qualifies?
- How can I apply for benefits?
- How much is the maximum benefitamount?
- Is there a work or income requirement?
- What evidence do I need of my child’s condition?
- Do I need a lawyer to apply for benefits?
- How can I find the best disability lawyer?
The skilled disability attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group, can guide you through the process, answer your questions, and offer you the best chance of approval for your claim.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict requirements for getting disability benefits. It is even tougher when applying on behalf of a minor child. That said, we have helped many clients win benefits for their disabled children. We can put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the details of your case. Our attorneys sit down with you, evaluate your child’s condition and your family’s income, and offer you an honest assessment of your chances for benefits. If a possibility exists that you qualify, we can start building evidence and gathering the documentation we need to submit the strongest case possible to the SSA. We fight aggressively and relentlessly for your benefits. Call 865-566-0800 today for a free consultation. We can help you get benefits for a child or teenager with a schizophrenic or other psychotic disorder.
What disability benefits can I apply for?
The SSA offers benefits through two main disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Your child is only eligible for benefits through the SSI program.
This is because the SSDI program is an insurance program for workers who become disabled at some point during their career. To qualify for SSDI benefits, applicants must prove they have accumulated enough work credits during their employment history. Since minor children cannot accumulate these credits, they cannot apply for SSDI benefits.
The SSI program, however, is a welfare program for people with little to no income and very low assets. The SSA has income requirements your family must meet for your child to qualify. These numbers will vary depending on the number of adults and children in your household.
These requirements seem strict, but even if you make more than the listed maximum, you might still qualify for the SSI program. You do not have to count all your income toward the total and you may deduct certain household expenses.
Our attorneys can help you structure your household income and expenses and take advantage of every deduction and exemption available to you so you have the best chance of qualifying for SSI.
How to Apply for Disability Benefits for Your Child
The SSA has a high standard for obtaining disability benefits for a child with a schizophrenic or other psychotic disorder, but our attorneys can help you meet or exceed it.
There are two key pieces of evidence we need to present to the SSA in order to build a compelling case for your child.
Diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Similar Mental Illness
We will work with your child’s licensed psychiatrist or psychologist to obtain a qualifying diagnosis of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder.
Evidence of Limited Daily Functioning
The SSA only grants benefits if we can offer compelling evidence that your child’s condition severely limits his or her daily functioning. We may also need to show that he or she has undergone treatment for at least two years.
The more medical evidence we can present, the better our chances of winning your case. We can help your child undergo comprehensive psychological examinations and obtain letters from treating physicians attesting to the severity of the condition and its effects on your child’s life.
What are the SSA’s requirements for schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder?
The SSA has certain requirements, which it outlines in listing 112.03, that your child must meet to receive SSI benefits for schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder.
Your child must have medical documentation of one or more of the following:
- Hallucinations or delusions;
- Disorganized thinking or speech; and
- Catatonia or grossly disorganized behavior.
Your child also must show an extreme limitation in one of the following areas, or a marked limitation in two of the following areas:
- Ability to understand, remember, and apply information;
- Ability to interact with others;
- Concentration or ability to maintain pace; and
- Ability to self-manage and adapt to new surroundings.
If your child does not meet the second set of requirements, we can still argue for benefits by providing evidence of ongoing medical treatment and proof that your child is unable to adapt to a changing environment or meet new demands in his or her life.
What if my child does not meet these criteria?
There is one more method by which we can pursue benefits even if your child does not meet these criteria. The SSA grants benefits on a case-by-case basis for conditions that are functionally equivalent to a recognized medical condition.
To qualify for benefits in this manner, we have to show that you child has a marked limitation in two or more of the following areas:
- Processing information;
- Focusing on tasks;
- Working with others;
- Moving objects around;
- Personal care; and
- General well-being.
Call the Disability Advantage Group Today
Winning disability benefits on your own can be difficult. The SSA has a high bar to meet. Sometimes, applicants receive denials because of technicalities even when they meet the requirements for benefits. You can better your chances by having someone on your side who is intimately familiar with the SSA and all its rules and regulations.
At the Disability Advantage Group, our attorneys specialize in winning disability claims. We can put our vast resources to work for you. We will fight relentlessly for your benefits and will handle your case from beginning to end so you can focus on your child and family. Call our office today at 865-566-0800 for a free consultation.