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Financial Issues


Mental health treatment and medications are expensive, and parents discover that benefits for these services for children are difficult to maintain. Because parents are responsible for payment for mental health services and medications for their children at least to age 18, parents should check out the procedures for continuing Medicaid past the age of 18. In Colorado, Medicaid is provided through several different avenues, and those avenues usually change when the child turns 18. 

The only way to get Medicaid after 18 is if the child qualifies for Social Security Disability (SSI). Even if the child qualified for SSI, a re-application as an adult is needed at age 18. The proofs are similar for the proofs for children.

Proving Disability for SSI as an adult:

  • Requires a person to have a physical or mental condition or conditions that can be medically proven and which result in marked and severe functional limitations;
  • Requires that the medically proven physical or mental condition or conditions must last or be expected to last at least 12 months or be expected to result in death;
  • Must show that the person has been engaged in treatment and that the treatment has not been able to allow for substantial gainful employment
  • Must show that substantial work has been tried, but has not been possible.
  • A person may not be considered disabled if he or she is working at a job that is considered to be substantial work.

Continuing Disability Reviews are required at least every three years for SSI recipients whether or not their mental illness is likely to improve. Reviews are often required for mental illnesses that are not likely to improve.