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Helping Those Who Suffer As A Result of Mental Illness

mental illness and legal aspects from estate planning attorney

In the United States, starting back in 1949, May has been Mental Health Awareness Month. Even though I didn’t write about it last month, I am a proponent of the work done by The Mental Health America organization. They reach millions of people each year through the media, local events and mental health screening in order to educate people about mental illness.

The sad truth is that much mental illness goes undiagnosed until the symptoms are undeniable.

I experienced this truth early in my life, which led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in psychology. My mother was undiagnosed bipolar and committed suicide when I was 6 years old.

The tragedy is that because the mentally ill typically do not have physical symptoms of illness, it is difficult for others to identify the illness and to understand the challenges they face. For instance parents of a child with schizophrenia, bipolar or schizoaffective disorder, may think their child is going through a phase they’ll grow out of and not be able to pinpoint issues as mental illness. This can be heartbreaking.

Getting help for yourself or loved ones with a mental disorder can be even more heartbreaking because of the challenging requirements of proof.

Social Security has a listing of impairments with the criteria need for each condition in order to qualify for disability.

Disability applicants who have complex mental conditions like schizophrenia should consider hiring an experienced disability attorney to represent them. Do not go it alone. Many schizophrenics actually get turned down after their initial disability application, but the overall allowance rate is over 80% for individuals with schizophrenia. Those who are able to manage the process of appealing and waiting for a hearing date are usually successful in getting disability benefits. With the help of an experienced attorney, your chances of negotiating the process and getting a successful outcome are much greater.

While we do not handle Social Security disability cases, we can certainly refer you to an attorney that does.

We do help families whose loved ones with mental illness need to pursue other options such as finding guardians and/or conservators. However, if you have a loved one with a diagnosed mental illness or a spouse, child or grandchild who has disabilities, or if you are under the age of 65 and are disabled, call The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC to schedule a consultation to discuss your circumstances and to see how we can help.