Is Schizophrenia Considered a Disability?

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Home » Blog » Is Schizophrenia Considered a Disability?

When someone faces a difficult challenge like schizophrenia, they may not understand their options for receiving help. People in this situation often wonder “Is schizophrenia a disability?” Montare Behavioral Health of Tucson can provide an official diagnosis for this mental health disorder along with world-class treatment. Our staff uses their extensive training in mental illness treatment to help people feel comfortable learning how to take better care of themselves. We include family members in order to strengthen their ability to care for a loved one whose life has been impacted by schizophrenia.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a type of mental illness classified as a thought disorder. It affects a person’s cognitive abilities, including how they think, speak, and behave. It makes it difficult for the person to understand reality and have healthy relationships with others. Schizophrenia can be caused by brain chemistry, genetics, a person’s living environment, or for no obvious reason. 

Schizophrenia often includes some of the following symptoms:

  • Audio and visual hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Difficulty feeling or expressing emotions
  • Trouble socializing with others
  • Appearing to be in their own world
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty focusing on a conversation or activity
  • Appearing to be in a catatonic state
  • Psychosis
  • Poor hygiene
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings


When someone experiences these types of symptoms, living a so-called normal life can prove impossible. Because this mental illness cannot be cured, it leads many to wonder if they can get disability for schizophrenia. 

Is Schizophrenia a Disability?

Some mental health disorders, while often troubling to those who have them, can still co-exist with a person’s ability to work and enjoy healthy relationships with themselves and others. Schizophrenia can be so debilitating that it becomes impossible for the individual to find and keep a job. Is schizophrenia a disability in this case? It absolutely can be considered that. In fact, many people qualify for disability benefits if they can provide an official assessment from a medical professional. This includes if the person has a history of receiving treatment for schizophrenia. 

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that schizophrenia is in the top 15 causes of disability in the world. In fact, people with this mental illness are at an increased risk of dying prematurely and committing suicide. 

Can You Get Paid Disability for Having Schizophrenia?

Someone with schizophrenia may qualify for receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA lists schizophrenia as one of the reasons a person may get disability payments. For someone to be considered for benefits, they must have a history of working in jobs covered by Social Security. Additionally, they must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of a disability. The person applying for benefits must be able to prove that they have been formally diagnosed as having the disease and certain symptoms that happen with it. 

Is it Hard to Get Disability?

Can you get disability for schizophrenia easily or is it hard to achieve? It depends on the person’s circumstances and history with treatment. The SSA looks for documentation of a diagnosis from a medical professional. As well, they will look at any history the person has of receiving treatment. This includes residential programs, outpatient programs, therapy, and medications. 

To qualify for disability, a person should prepare to be patient. The SSA requires a person not be able to work for a year or more due to their disability. Then, there is usually a five-month waiting period before the first check is paid out. They may backpay for some months, depending on the individual situation. Some people use a lawyer or community help in order to assist in filing the paperwork. Even if the individual is initially rejected for disability, they often receive approval on a subsequent try.

How to Find Help for Schizophrenia

Residential programs can provide a true lifeline for people who need focused, effective treatment for schizophrenia. Living in a facility allows a person to escape from the daily trials of life and really focus on themselves. The medical and therapy staff all understand how to communicate with compassion and patience when treating someone with schizophrenia. A variety of therapy options allow the person to learn about themselves and how they relate to others. While no cure for schizophrenia exists, the right treatment program can vastly improve the person’s quality of life.

Medications are central to helping someone manage their schizophrenia. Treatment programs for schizophrenia will analyze each individual to see which medications will work best for them. They can monitor their usage for effectiveness and any side effects and adjust them as needed. As well, many treatment programs keep an open line of communication with family members. This helps the entire family unit work together to understand how they can best work to support their loved one.

Contact Our Schizophrenia Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA

Are you faced with the challenge of living with schizophrenia or know someone who deals with this? Montare Behavioral Health of Tucson provides valuable help for those who need assistance learning to live a better life with this mental health disorder. Our residential programs for schizophrenia provide evidence-based therapy with great impact. As well, we can help provide an answer to the question of “Is schizophrenia a disability?”. Doing this allows you to move forward knowing what your next move should be. 

For more information, contact us today and see what a difference professional treatment for mental health can accomplish. We provide free, confidential consultations from a caring admissions counselor.