For an individual to receive social security disability (SSD) benefits, an important step is to determine whether they “meet a listing.” This means the individual’s disability has to meet a set of criteria provided by the Social Security Administration (listings for all disabilities can be found at To meet a listing is challenging, especially when it comes to mental disorders. This is because mental disabilities are subjective; each person experiences a mental illness differently.

Examples of mental illness criteria:

Schizophrenia, listing 12.03, is a psychotic disorder that causes realistic hallucinations. The vividness of these illusions makes it difficult for the individual to tell what is real and what is not. In order to obtain SSD benefits for a mental illness like Schizophrenia, a number of criteria must be met. These requirements range from medical documentation of the impairment to more disorder-specific criteria, such as, delusions, catatonic behavior, incoherence, isolation, and repeated episodes of these symptoms.  Even with a social security disability lawyer, it can be difficult to prove you meet the listing for Schizophrenia or any mental disorder.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that can hinder the personal and professional aspects of one’s life. The film A Beautiful Mind was released in 2001. It is based on a true story that recounts the life of mathematician, John Nash. Nash was a Paranoid Schizophrenic but he was also a professor and a Nobel Memorial Prize winner. The movie does a great portrayal of Nash’s life and his battle with this mental disorder.

Gathering medical documentation and doctor statements in support of a mental impairment is crucial for a favorable claim. However, this is often the most difficult part of developing a case. If you live in the Tallahassee or South Georgia area and need help supporting your claim and feel you deserve ssd benefits for mental illness, contact Tallahassee social security disability attorney, Matt Liebenhaut.