eleke (eleke) wrote in bad_service,
eleke
eleke
bad_service

Mental illness isn't a disability, apparently.

My brother is autistic. He was diagnosed 25 years ago back when the 'refrigerator mother' theory was still being bandied about. He didn't start talking until he was four, and never really talked a lot after. Some therapy techniques that are used widely today were tested on him and his classmates from his special school that he went to for two days a week for therapy. He's still autistic, and nothing is going to change that. He still shuts down in crowds, he's very emotionally sensitive, he doesn't understand many things, he cannot function like a neuro-typical adult. The state of Michigan has known for 25 years that he has a disability and the severity is well-documented.

My family got a letter a couple days ago saying that he's no longer eligible for medicaid or medicare because he isn't under the age of 18, isn't over the age of 65, is not pregnant nor has young children, nor does he "have a disability." What? Does medicare/aid no longer help people with mental illnesses? Does he have to be physically disabled for them to look at him?

Looking at the Medicaid website it looks like he may have prove that he can't work for a year before he gets his coverage back. How can he prove he can't work? Find a job and get fired from it because he got overwhelmed and shut down?

My father and I are going to try and talk to the person who sent us the letter as soon as we can. If she wont change her mind, then we're going on to appeal.

Half of me is wondering if he really doesn't qualify, though a quick google search says that he should. If he doesn't I don't know what we can do for him - he's the only person in my family who has (had?) any type of insurance, and now he may lose it.

If we can't get his insurance back then I don't know what to do. This is going to be a long night of research ahead of me. If they're in the right to deny him, or if anyone has any advice, please let me know.

ETA: I am sorry that I was being offensive by calling Autism a mental illness: it is a developmental disorder, and there is a difference.

Also, thank you everyone for the excellent advice in the comments. I've got an appointment with the office that issued the letter, so hopefully this was as mistake as some had suggested. Once we get more information either way I'll edit this post to reflect the end result.
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