Not only are Social Security Disability Benefits awarded to Missouri residents who are unable to work due to physical disabilities, but they are also available to those who suffer from certain mental conditions as well. According to a Yale University psychiatry professor, there are currently 3.5 million people in America suffering from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other mental conditions who depend on their Social Security Disability benefits to survive. Unfortunately, many of these beneficiaries lack the ability to control and organize their finances, which can lead to many issues.
Studies show that many mentally impaired individuals receiving SSDI benefits are unable to manage their money effectively. This mismanagement of money may result in a recipient losing their home or using SSDI benefits to fund drug and alcohol habits. Some recipients are given a payee to help organize and manage their funds. However, there is not a standard program in place to determine whether the SSDI recipient needs a payee.
The Financial Incapability Structured Clinician Assessment done Longitudinally is a proposed program that would help pair SSDI recipients with payees that will help them manage their funds appropriately. A clinician would use the FISCAL program to distinguish those patients who need extra assistance managing their money from those who are more independent. The program would decipher whether the beneficiary is able to take care of their basic needs. It would also determine the likelihood that the beneficiary would spend their money on harmful substances, including drugs and alcohol.
An established Social Security law attorney may be able to provide the legal counsel necessary to help a person attain and manage their Social Security Disability Benefits.
Source: Medscape, “New Tool May Help Psych Patients Manage Finances,” Pauline Anderson, May 12, 2014.