Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that drastically affects the victims’ perceptions of the world around them and their ability to interact with others. It is usually disabling and it often strikes when victims are quite young, so it’s important for parents and caregivers to know the options they have.
In the past, schizophrenia was blamed on everything from demonic possession to “poor parenting.” However, mental health and medical researchers now know that it’s actually a complex disorder that likely occurs due to disruptions in the victim’s brain development while they were still in the womb or at a very early developmental stage. While it isn’t curable, new medications have made the condition vastly more manageable. In addition, doctors also now know that the earlier the medical intervention occurs, the better the chances for the victim to lead a more stable life.
However, it takes two things to get consistent mental health treatment: money and medical insurance — which are two things that many schizophrenics never have a chance to acquire on their own because of the early onset of the disease. Most of those afflicted have either never worked or not worked long enough to qualify for a Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit.
That’s where Supplemental Security Income can help.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is often thought of as primarily a benefit for children with birth defects whose parents’ income falls below a certain threshold or seniors over the age of 65 who lack retirement benefits and other means of support. However, it also provides financial and medical benefits to adults of any age who didn’t have the opportunity to work and pay into the Social Security insurance program long enough to be entitled to a benefit when they became disabled.
If you have an adult child with schizophrenia, your income no longer matters for SSI purposes. Even if you’ve made inquiries before about the program, you should check into it again to see if your child qualifies now that he or she is legally of age. If your adult child with schizophrenia has filed for SSI before and been denied, seek the assistance of an experienced attorney.