Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that impacts about 24 million people worldwide. Although it is not as common as other conditions like anxiety and depression, it can still manifest with painful and unpleasant symptoms, such as:
- Delusional thinking that is inconsistent with reality
- Hallucinations causing you to experience sights, sounds, or other things that are not there
- Thinking and behaviors that are disjointed or disorganized
- Trouble paying attention, recalling information, and problem-solving
- Agitation, difficulty speaking, and irritability
It is not unusual for schizophrenia to begin developing within a person during their late teens and early twenties. This coincides with the time that many enter and exit the military service. This does not necessarily mean that obtaining VA disability benefits for schizophrenia is automatic.
Accurate Diagnosis Key to Receiving Benefits for Schizophrenia
Like certain other mental health conditions, schizophrenia that develops or worsens because of your military service can support a claim for VA disability benefits. Despite this, you might still experience difficulties in having your claim approved. It may take one or more appeals and supplemental evidence before your schizophrenia VA disability claim is approved.
The reason for this difficulty is that some doctors, examiners, and the VA can mistake your schizophrenia for a personality disorder. Personality disorders can have symptoms that are similar to those of schizophrenia.
A key distinction between the two conditions, though, is that personality disorders are a condition with which you are born. Because they predate your military service, the VA does not consider them “service-related” and will not award VA disability benefits.
Therefore, obtaining disability benefits for your schizophrenia depends on your condition being accurately diagnosed and well-documented. Your medical and mental health records from your time in service can be useful in proving when you began developing schizophrenia. Any continuing treatment you received, along with the accompanying records, can be useful to show any progressive worsening of your symptoms.
How Much in Benefits You Will Receive Depends on Your Symptoms
Like other conditions, the VA will assign your schizophrenia a rating that corresponds to how severely your symptoms interfere with your daily life and your ability to work. A higher disability rating corresponds to symptoms that are more difficult to manage, whereas a lower rating means the VA does not believe your schizophrenia significantly interferes with your ability to go to work.
It is rare for anyone to receive a 100 percent disability rating for schizophrenia alone. However, you may be able to reach a 100 percent rating if you have several conditions whose effects combine together.
Contact Veterans Law Attorneys Today for Help
Do not despair if your schizophrenia claim is initially denied. At Ohio-based Veterans Law Attorneys, our firm understands what the VA is looking for when you are seeking benefits for a mental health condition. We will help you build a stronger case file on appeal and strive to get you your benefits swiftly.
Learn more about what we can do for you and your claim by calling us at (833) 753-5168 or reaching out to us online about your case. You can also contact us online.