Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

SSI evaluation for disability

Hi all, a little help will be greatly appreciated,

My daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia about a year ago, even though she has had visual and auditory hallucinations for many years. She was diagnosed with major depression with psychotic features about 20 years ago and was hospitalized twice at the ago of 12 and 13. She was diagnosed a few years ago as bipolar and the meds she was given really messed things up. Thank God she found a good psychiatrist about a year ago who knew what he was doing. The doctor ran MRI’s on her brain and even consulted with 2 other psychiatrists and they all concurred that she has schizophrenia. She sees a therapist once a week through doctors on demand and her doctor once a month.
We have been fighting for disability for her for the past year. She was denied the first time, it was appealed and I got a call from SSI stating that they might request an evaluation by a different doctor and that I was responsible for taking her to the evaluation. I agreed to do so.
This my question to anyone who has had their loved one evaluated by SSI. My daughter has 3 doctors agreeing she has schizophrenia, is seeing a therapist and is on injections for her meds. So why is SSI insisting she be seen by a doctor that they have chosen? Has anyone been through this? It seems like she has been waiting a very long time for disability on a condition that is very obvious. This is so frustrating, I hope she gets her disability soon.
God Bless and thanks for all the support, I so appreciate it.

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Seeing a doctor selected by SSI is standard procedure and part of the process.

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Just a question to all

When applying to get a court order for the involuntary hospitalization, i had to emphasize the symptoms which indicated that she was risk to others (in 2015 she was at risk to herself also, but not this time)
These had to be emphasized in order to succeed with the court application. I could not just go there and say: she is not well and getting worse. I had to play the game on their terms.

So, my question: do you have any tips as to what symptoms should be emphasized in order to get financial assistance.
We have an appointment coming up first week of April, and i know she may tell them that she is fine and does not need money from them. What this means really is that she has no idea where the money come to cover for her expenses. She thinks the roof over her head and such basics are just a given, granted, natural part of life.

Meanwhile i cannot afford all these expenses such as high heating bills when she opens all doors and windows when it is -25C (-13F) and warms up the house using everything that would heat up (maxed the furnace and the cooking oven, both if which i had to / have to replace)

So my question is: how to talk to the agent for financial help. What to say, what to emphasize, etc

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I think someone said here to always say “chronic & persistent psychosis”.

But, when I’ve written letters to our insurance company to keep my son on our insurances, I also stress how he can’t be around people.

If you look at the disability criteria, there’s a lot on there about how people’s ability to function is impaired, so I think it’s good to concentrate on that kind of stuff - like can’t be around people, can’t organize their thoughts or stay on task, inability to follow directions or stay focused.


Thank you very much
I should start making notes and get ready

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That is standard procedure to have a doctor of the SSA choosing examine the patient and with 3 doctors backing up the diagnosis I can’t see you having any issues, but the SS process is tedious and frustrating especially if you do not have a SS atty doing the footwork for you. SSA seems to put the patients represented by SS attorneys at the front of the line. I think It is not fair but it is the way it seems to work.

yep, chronic, persistent, and debilitating…the 3 magic words for the SSA


When I had to face potential large bills for my sz son (once he was an adult and regardless of whether he lived with me or whether I helped him financially) I would stress to whoever was asking that in spite of how ill he was he was solely responsible for himself financially, and since he was unemployed and had no insurance he was always found to be eligible for any and all help that was offered. Today he has SSI and Medicaid. As for heating etc…I apply each year for HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program) in my son’s name (since he lives with me and they pay a lump sum to the gas company which covers most of the heating for the year. They require proof of income for each resident in the house and a copy of your most recent utility bills and they even have a space if any residents have zero income…they are pretty generous on the total allowed for a household too.

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It’s required, I had to bring my son in for an evaluation also. We also was denied the first time. , I’ve heard that’s common. The second time, got the SSD. But you only have I think a year to do it. Good luck.

We are in Canada, but i will look into something like that

The problem is she has been diagnosed juat last winter, but the health issues and expenses go a few years back

Hello, in order to receive SSI and/or SSDI benefits, the applicant is required to be evaluated by a psychiatrist who is contracted and reports his/her findings to Social Security. It is one of the first steps in the process to receive benefits. My son and I visited a psychiatrist contracted with Social Security in July 2016. He was finally granted his SSI benefits from November 2016. Most applicants will be denied the first time; however after appealing, complying to all requests and rules of Social Security, and with much perseverance on the applicant’s part, one should receive their benefits. I am sure that your daughter will receive hers also. Best wishes to you.

We have an (older - but not sure if things have changed) guide that one of our regular members wrote up on how they got SSI:

Here it is:

Help with Social Security Insurance SSI for People with Schizophrenia

Also - I found this which might also be of interest:

Thank you kindly. Good timing too, at least for us

That was from a US member - since you’re in Canada it is probably somewhat different (though our family member was in Canada and received SSI without a problem). I think its easier in Canada than the USA. Just get as much documentation as you can. Please post here with results and tips about the process for others.

I do take it into account that most of people are from the US, but generally, their experiences are still very helpful. And very similar as well.
I also pay attention to the comments of the people from UK.

We went through SSDI for our daughter. We were denied three times. We contacted our local Legal Aid because she had no income at the time. Her assigned case worker was wonderful. A hearing was held, via skype and she received her approval after that. As hard as it is, stay the course. It helped our daughter get back on her feet until she was able to work again. Wishing you the best.

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Yes, I just went through this, every body has to do this, if you started when she was in her teens it would have been easier but relax you are almost there and they pay you back pay from when you applied, be sure not to let the account go over 2000 or they will not give it,assuming she lives with you most of her settlement you will claim that she is paying rent

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