The closing of a mental health facility in West Palm Beach County Florida cost people more than just their jobs. In addition to the 350 jobs that were lost, 150 severely mentally ill people lost access to their Social Security Disability payments. The hospital served as a designated payee, or manager, for those considered too severely disabled to manage their own finances. Many of the patients also lived in housing provided by the facility.
Unmanageable debt was the reason cited for the facility’s closing down. After the closing announced last month, patients were notified that their disability payments were being cut off. This could also result in a loss of access to Medicaid and food assistance.
Coming up with a permanent solution to the problem may not be easy. Finding an entity willing to take over financial administration for up to 150 people and provide housing for up to 130 could pose a challenge. It is more than likely that such a task could take months if not longer. The population affected is among one of those at greatest risk of becoming homeless and possibly dying if forced to live on the streets.
Human life is precious and should be treated accordingly. Having a family member who suffers from severe mental illness can be extremely difficult, and the family may not have the means to provide the necessary care and protection for the person who is suffering. Social Security Disability can provide financial assistance that can assist with housing and food costs. Anyone in Florida facing such a situation should consult with an attorney experienced in Social Security Disability cases to see if it is a possible option.