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Psychotic disorders and SSD eligibility

| May 13, 2020 | Social Security Disability |

It is not only physical conditions that may qualify a person for Social Security Disability. Disorders of the mind may also be eligible. 

The Social Security Administration recognizes 11 different categories of mental disorders that may qualify for SSD. Psychotic disorders comprise one of the categories. 

What is a psychotic disorder? 

According to Healthline, psychosis impairs the relationship between a person and the reality in which he or she exists. Distinguishing characteristics of a psychotic disorder include delusions, which are false beliefs that a person clings to despite all evidence to the contrary, and hallucinations, which are sensory perceptions with no external stimuli. 

Some mental health conditions are specifically known as psychotic disorders. However, psychosis can also be a symptom of other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder. 

What psychotic disorders qualify for SSD? 

The list does not appear to be exhaustive, but the SSA lists the following conditions that it groups under the category of psychotic disorders for evaluation: 

  • Schizoaffective disorder 
  • Delusional disorder 
  • Schizophrenia 

What are the signs and symptoms of psychotic disorders? 

In addition to hallucinations and delusions, the SSA identifies specific symptoms associated with psychotic disorders with the potential to cause a significant functional decrease. Paranoia is an unfounded belief that one is under threat. Flat or inappropriate affect is either an inability to show emotions or a display of emotions that do not fit the situation. Anhedonia is a loss of interest in activities that one previously took pleasure in. Patients with psychotic disorders may also withdraw from social situations. They may lack the ability to initiate or follow through with goal-directed activities. 

The underlying thread beneath most, if not all, of the signs and symptoms of psychosis is the irrationality of thought and behavior.