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Mental Health Adequate Care

  • Oct 13, 2023

Mental health is not just a general concern; it is crucial for people with special needs as well. Individuals with disabilities are more likely to experience mental health disorders compared to the general population. Notably, poor mental health can exacerbate existing conditions and limit one’s ability to participate fully in society. Thus, mental health care for individuals with special needs should not be a peripheral issue but rather a central part of overall health and well-being. At Falcon Law Group, our New Jersey special needs lawyers help families create tailored mental health care plans.

Importance of Having a Mental Health Care Plan

Planning for the future is a task that most people undertake, whether it’s saving for retirement, purchasing insurance, or making investments. However, when it comes to mental health — especially for individuals with special needs — the importance of planning cannot be overstated. A well-structured mental health care plan is a crucial tool that can make a significant difference in the quality of life for the individual and their family.

Proactive Approach to Treatment

A mental health care plan outlines the steps and measures to be taken to manage different mental health conditions. This proactive approach ensures that timely interventions are made, thereby averting crises or severe episodes. It essentially acts as a roadmap for maintaining or improving the individual’s mental health.

Financial Preparedness

Planning ahead means assessing the potential costs involved in mental health care. By integrating financial planning into a mental health care plan — through special needs trusts, for example — families can create a financial safety net. This helps ensure that quality mental health services are accessible without burdening the family with unforeseen costs.

Future Planning

A mental health care plan isn’t just for immediate needs; it also prepares families for long-term scenarios. By establishing a comprehensive plan, families can have peace of mind knowing that their loved one’s mental health needs will be met, even when they may not be around to provide care themselves.

Having a mental health care plan for individuals with special needs is not a luxury but a necessity. It offers a proactive, legally sound, and financially sensible approach to managing mental health.

Options for Mental Health Care

Ensuring adequate mental health care for individuals with special needs involves careful planning and a solid understanding of the legal and financial resources available. Below is a list of estate planning techniques and government benefits that can help families in New Jersey secure the mental health care their loved ones need.

1. Special Needs Trusts

This is a legal entity that holds assets for the benefit of someone with special needs. These trusts can provide supplemental financial resources for mental health care without affecting eligibility for government benefits.

2. ABLE Accounts

These tax-advantaged savings accounts allow people with disabilities to save for qualified disability expenses, including mental health treatments, without jeopardizing their eligibility for government assistance programs.

3. Guardianships

Appointing a legal guardian for an individual with special needs can offer the opportunity to make legally binding decisions regarding mental health care treatments.

4. Psychiatric Advance Directives (PADs)

These are legal documents specifying the preferred methods of mental health care treatment for an individual in case they become incapacitated.

5. Power of Attorney for Health Care

This legal document designates an individual to make health care decisions, including mental health care, for someone who is unable to do so themselves.

6. Medicaid

This federal-state program provides health coverage, including mental health services, to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities.

7. Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)

Part of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, DDD offers numerous programs and services designed for those with developmental disabilities, including specialized mental health services.

8. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

This program provides financial benefits to disabled or blind individuals who are “insured” by workers’ contributions to the Social Security trust fund. These benefits can also be applied to mental health services.

Consulting a special needs lawyer in NJ for creating and implementing an adequate mental health care plan is a prudent step for families looking to safeguard the mental health of their loved ones with special needs. This adds an additional layer of foresight and preparation, contributing to more effective mental health care planning.

If you’re concerned about the well-being of a family member with special needs and want to establish a comprehensive mental health care plan, consult our New Jersey special needs lawyer. Contact us today for a consultation.

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