It is fairly well known that physically disabled Americans have access to benefits offered by the Social Security Administration. However, those suffering from mental illnesses have access as well, a fact perhaps not well known. For instance, many St. Louis, Missouri, residents who may suffer from mental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, along with depression and anxiety-related illnesses, are also eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
Receiving benefits for these conditions requires submitting prior medical records and a separate medical consultative exam might also be necessary in case the symptoms are not clearly manifested when applying for benefits. More crucial is the determination of whether, and to what extent, the disability impairs the person’s ability to earn a wage, for a period of at least one year, if not more.
For friends and family of those with mental disabilities, the immediate concerns are finding out what’s needed to determine a person’s eligibility and how to apply for benefits, if eligible. A glance through such sources, like our blog and practice area webpages, may give you a fair amount of information, including what may or may not be covered by insurance providers. The Affordable Care Act includes provisions requiring insurers to include rehabilitative programs for developmental disorders such as cerebral palsy and autism in the plans they offer.
Given that the process of filing for disability benefits can be complex, depending on the condition, it is best to seek knowledgeable advice from a Missouri professional about available benefits and your rights provided by existing laws and government programs. It is important to recognize that mental illness can be as debilitating as a physical disability and may result in significant alteration to the lifestyle of the patient and the person’s family. Mental issues may require prolonged care given that conditions like depression may be brought on by intermittent circumstances.