Sunday, June 21, 2015

Disability Insurance and the Cost of Recovery

I’ve established myself as an advocate of getting people off of long-term disability.  Too many people with mental illness are discouraged from living at their most productive potential by a method of assistance that condemns them to living within a system that doles out subsistence while imprisoning them in a life where the guarantee of a monthly check prohibits the risk and reward of work.  There are many incentives to stay on assistance, and many stigmas and barriers to stepping out and being fully responsible for one’s present and future.  I also believe that if some organization is paying one’s bills, then that organization has every right to demand certain behavior of the payee.  Things like medication compliance, lifestyle practices, and the need to contribute in every way possible through volunteering, part-time work, etc. should be expected of the person being supported by someone else.  One is free to neglect treatment and engage in dangerous behavior.  One is also free to make no effort to pay a portion of one’s expenses.  This person, however, should not expect a public entity to support such irresponsibility and squandering of others' contributions, either through charity, insurance, or tax-based transfer programs.  The benefit of work on treatment outcomes is well established, and the legal structure exists to enable the challenged person to work with accommodations.  So to be very blunt, comply and try or expect no assistance.