Millions of Americans suffer with mental illnesses, including depression, severe anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other debilitating conditions that can impact the ability to work or manage day to day tasks. In a USA Today special report, investigators show that those with the most severe disabilities are falling through the cracks of the system without the necessary care and financial support.
Mental illness has always been distinguished from physical disabilities and for those who suffer, it can be difficult to garner empathy or support from family, peers, employers, or the government. Our Boston SSDI attorneys understand the struggles faced by individuals who suffer from mental illness and are dedicated to helping them seek support and necessary benefits. We are also abreast of research and trends that impact the lives of Americans with physical and mental disabilities.
According to the report, many individuals without requisite care or assistance will land in the emergency room, jail, or on the streets. In the worst cases, the mentally ill will suffer an early death without necessary support and assistance. Where the mentally ill were once cared for in asylums, hospitals, and institutions, they are now on the streets or put in jail. Many of them will lose their lives to their illness without proper care of financial assistance.
States looking to protect their bottom line have cut community mental health services as well as hospital care that is integral to recovery after a crisis. According to reports, states have shifted the way they care for the mentally ill because of insurance pressures, tight budgets, and the desire to avoid institutionalization. Representatives from the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors indicate that states cut billions in mental health services between 2009 and 2012.
In addition to cutting funding for treating the mentally ill, states have also eliminated 10% of public hospital beds (around 4,500), which leaves many patients unable to seek necessary treatment or care. Failing to provide assistance to the mentally ill is more than just inhumane, it can be deadly. Statistics show that 60% of patients with the most severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, did not receive any treatment at all.
Mental illnesses can range from delusion and schizophrenia to debilitating depression. For those who suffer, getting help and assistance can be a challenge. Many patients will resort to desperate measures in an attempt to get the drugs or counseling that they need. While many of these patients may need hospitalization, others will require financial assistance to help them maintain their livelihood.
For individuals with mental illness, applying and getting approval for Social Security Disability can be a challenge. You may have been denied in the past but feel that you are desperate for public assistance. It is important to have clear medical documentation and an experienced advocate to help complete and file your application in a timely manner. Getting financial assistance is the first step to ensuring safety, care, and proper treatment for mental illness.
Call our Boston SSDI attorneys for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
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Disability Awareness Efforts a Reminder of Importance of Providing for Disabled, Feb. 20, 2014, Boston SSDI, Attorney Blog