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Educating Deinstitutionalized Patients About Fiscal Realities
Anne Mueller; Barbara Posternak; Enid Handler
Psychiatric Services 1980; doi:
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Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center Wingdale, New York

Tappan Zee Mental Health Clinic Phelps Memorial Hospital North Tarrytown, New York

American Psychiatric Association

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Because of a previous misinterpretation of Social Security regulations, deinstitutionalized clients in a mental health clinic's rehabilitation center were faced with a decrease in Supplemental Security Income benefits, which meant that the adult home in which they lived did not receive full room-and-board fees. The home threatened to remove clients from the center. In the process of resolving the dilemma, the mental health clinic and the state hospital established a training program to enable clients to make their own financial decisions; it covered such topics as fees at the home and the center and what clients should expect from those facilities, the effect of sheltered workshop earnings on other benefits, and other options for housing and employment. The group leaders encountered problems in trying to get accurate information about benefits and restrictions and with the sometimes conflicting goals of the group home as a business interest. However, clients' interest in and comprehension of the material was high, and by the end of the course they were manifesting more independent behavior.

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