Social Security Disability SSI, Bipolar, Alzheimer's and Schizophrenia
A short piece by Michelle Healy of Wire Reports states that four and a half million Americans have alzheimer's, that this number could exceed sixteen million by mid-century, and that half of all people over 85 will develop alzheimer's. Developing alzheimer's is a scary proposition, no doubt.
Reading the article, though, made me think of two other conditions, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Both of these conditions are progressive as well. And from the standpoint of arresting further damage, medication compliance is very important.
Compliance with meds (taking one's meds as prescribed), though, is a big problem for disability claimants. Many claimants who had health insurance coverage when they initially filed for disability benefits no longer have such coverage at some point in the process. And, without it, they find it extremely difficult (and often impossible) to:
1. Get prescriptions filled.
2. Obtain needed medical treatment.
Without a doubt, this can be a bad situation for a person whose condition, mental or physical, is deteriorative in nature. Medications can be vital for arresting continued declines. For disability claimants, though, a lack of health coverage presents a double whammy since medical record documentation is needed to prove one's state of disability. And, of course, those records aren't generated if you can't go to the doctor.
It's very common, of course, for disability claimants to go to an ER for treatment, or to county services, the health department or a local free clinic. But I doubt many would argue that the level of care received in such places can take the place of an established, ongoing patient-doctor/therapist relationship. And the medical records that are generated in this manner tend to be "thin".
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