Monday, May 22, 2006

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".

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts:
Social Security Disability SSI Degenerative Disc Disease and Back pain
File for disability
Disability appeal information
Disability for Bipolar Disorder


Blogger XZillR8 said...

Due to my strong ongoing advice, my husband is about to apply for SSDI due to numerous conditions (i.e. Schizoaffective, Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Bi-Polar, and Chronic Headaches).

Obviously most of the conditions fall under the mental category. How does he determine the exact date that the disability started since his condition has gotten progressively worse over time and doesn't necessarily fall on an exact incident date? I saw on another post how the date is determined based on the medical records...however my husband's regular doctor wasn't very sociable so my husband wasn't asked and didn't go out of his way to tell the doctor "oh, by the way, I'm not working anymore because I can't handle it". So how do we determine AND prove the exact date the disability began?

Also, it was hard for my husband to openly discuss his schizo conditions (i.e. hallucinations, voices, etc.) with family practitioners and even some mental health professionals because he has been shunned by some of those people in the past when he's told them about it. Therefore, details about his mental disorders are not going to be mentioned much in his family doctor's records. However, he did have psychiatric assessments done at the VA hospital every 6 months to a year. Will the lack of documentation of work status & psychological details in the family doctor's medical records be a problem?

12:08 PM  
Blogger Disability Blogger said...

Hi, I addressed this on this page: Social Security Disability, the VA, Mental Conditions, and Consultative Exams . (I'll get to your second question tomorrow).

1:57 PM  

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