Most of us fall through the cracks when it comes to access to proper care

In the U.S., the lowest income individuals and families are eligible for Medicaid, government-sponsored health insurance. People with disabilities that have Medicaid are eligible for 24-hour home care if needed. Home care is expensive. You either have to have Medicaid or be quite wealthy to be able to afford this kind of assistance.

What about everyone in between?

I am currently working with a young professional woman living in NYC. She has a physical disability and requires some assistance just to be able to shower safely. It is not safe for her to have to climb in and out of a bathtub every time she showers. She lives in a rental building and I encouraged her to talk with a disability rights attorney about her options. We discovered that, according to NYC Human Rights Law, her landlord is required to pay for adaptations.

Luckily, she had the means to consult with an attorney and is able to advocate for herself. Unfortunately, there are many that would fall through the cracks that don’t have the means to pay for care, make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid, and are not able to advocate for themselves properly.

Medicare

Another challenging component is that if you have a disability and you are on disability, you are covered under Medicare. Medicare coverage is not nearly as comprehensive as Medicaid when it comes to in-home assistance.

ADA

A good place to start if you are in the U.S. and are looking for information and resources regarding any aspect of living with a disability is the Americans with Disabilities Act website (ADA). Your city and state will also have their own laws that you should look into.

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If you haven’t already read the book, it’s a great place to start: Living With Chronic Illness Handbook.

David B. Younger, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist specializing in working with people with chronic health conditions with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 13-year-old son, 3-year-old daughter and 5-year-old toy poodle.


Originally published at chronicillnesstherapy.com on January 12, 2018.