There are many individuals in our community who are disabled due to severe mental illness. Many of these individuals receive disability income from SSI or SSDI – but many do not. The very disability that qualifies them for these benefits prevents them from following through with the complicated and bureaucratic process of applying for services.
A number of agencies in the community have staff that can assist a client with this process. However, clients often don’t return for follow up appointments, or they start applications through more than one agency.
MHAP has received a grant from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of this process. With this grant, MHAP has formed a collaborative of agencies called the Benefits Access Project (BAP). These agencies will use a shared database to track the process of client applications, reconnect clients with Case Managers at other agencies, and prevent duplicate applications that slow down the approval process. In addition, the Case Managers at each agency will be trained to submit more effective applications.
The goal of the grant is to increase the number of qualified disabled clients who are receiving SSI/SSDI/Medicaid benefits by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the process.