Our advocates and attorneys will work to obtain benefits for those that are blind, or have a disability due to an injury, an accident or a mental or physical health condition. In addition, the Social Security Administration has created a list of "Compassionate Allowances Conditions" which was selected using information received at public outreach hearings, comments received from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, counsel of medical and scientific experts, and their research with the National Institute of Health.
Social Security has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards. Compassionate Allowances (CAL) are a way of quickly identifying diseases and other medical conditions that invariably qualify under the Listing of Impairments based on minimal objective medical information. Compassionate Allowances allow Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly. See the link to Social Security Administration list of Compassionate Allowances Conditions. United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Disability Benefits Questionnaires - List By DBQ Form Name http://benefits.va.gov/TRANSFORMATION/dbqs/ListByDBQFormName.asp
SHORT LIST OF MENTAL IMPAIRMENTS
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects 2.4 million American adults over the age of 18. Although it affects men and women with equal frequency, schizophrenia most often appears in men in their late teens or early twenties, while it appears in women in their late twenties or early thirties. Interfering with a person's ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others, schizophrenia impairs a person's ability to function to their potential when it is not treated. Because the illness may cause unusual, inappropriate and sometimes unpredictable and disorganized behavior, people who are not effectively treated are often shunned and the targets of social prejudice.
The apparent erratic behavior is often caused by the delusions and hallucinations that are symptoms of schizophrenia. Along with medication, psychosocial rehabilitation and other community-based support can help those with schizophrenia go on to lead meaningful and satisfying lives. A lack of appropriate services devoted to individuals living with schizophrenia has left many improperly placed in jails and prisons without the help they need. Like any other illness, schizophrenia can often have a profoundly negative effect on a person's life, on their families and on their communities if not addressed. Suicide is a serious risk for those with schizophrenia. See link.
Borderline Personality Disorder
BPD is characterized by impulsivity and instability in mood, self-image, and personal relationships. Inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable anger. Impulsive behaviors that result in adverse outcomes and psychological distress, such as excessive spending, sexual encounters, substance use, shoplifting, reckless driving or binge eating. Recurring suicidal threats or non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, such as cutting or burning one's self. Chronic boredom or feelings of emptiness. Frantic efforts to avoid abandonment. Typically the treatment plan will include psychotherapy strategies, medications to reduce symptom intensity, and group, peer and family support. See link.
Major Depression is a mood state that goes well beyond temporarily feeling sad or blue. It is a serious medical illness that affects one's thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health. It involves some combination of the following symptoms: depressed mood (sadness), poor concentration, insomnia, fatigue, appetite disturbances, excessive guilt and thoughts of suicide. Left untreated, depression can lead to serious impairment in daily functioning and even suicide, which is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. Researchers believe that more than one-half of people who die by suicide are experiencing depression. There is availability of effective treatments and a better understanding of the biological basis for depression. See link.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic illness with recurring episodes of mania and depression that can last from one day to months. This mental illness causes unusual and dramatic shifts in mood, energy and the ability to think clearly. Cycles of high (manic) and low (depressive) moods may follow an irregular pattern that differs from the typical ups and downs experienced by most people. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can have a negative impact on a person's life. Damaged relationships or a decline in job or school performance are potential effects, but positive outcomes are possible.
As people become familiar with their illness, they recognize their own unique patterns of behavior. If individuals recognize these signs and seek effective and timely care, they can often prevent relapses. But because bipolar disorder has no cure, treatment must be continuous. See link.
Possible Signs of Child Mental Illness
A sudden or persistent drop in school performance, persistently aggressive behavior, threats to self or others, substantial mood swings, hallucinations, paranoia or delusions, acting very withdrawn, sad or overly anxious, extreme difficulty interacting with friends and/or siblings, extreme changes in sleeping and eating patterns, increased or persistent use of alcohol or drugs. What should parents do if they suspect a mental health condition?
#1 talk with your pediatrician,
#2 get a referral to a mental health specialist,
#3 Work with the school,
#4 connect with other families.
EXTENDED LIST OF MENTAL IMPAIRMENTS DEFINED BY THE DIAGNOSTIC AND STATISTICAL MANUAL OF MENTAL DISORDERS
American Disability Foundation Inc.
1100 Peachtree Street NE Suite 202
Atlanta, Georgia 30309