Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Hipaa law before 18

if you see a child that may need mental help. Please get this paperwork done before they turn 18.
It’s so serious and so important. DONT BE PASSIVE about this! No one but YOU can care for them but you have no say for their care after 18. PLEASE DO IT NOW!!!


I couldn’t agree with you more @Mojoclay I wish I had done this earlier than I did. Thankfully I was able to get it when my son was 21. Still I think I would have gotten him started on a better path SOONER if I hadn’t had to fight the HIPPA blocks from 18-21. Without it my son would likely be dead or homeless but he definitely wouldn’t be doing as well as he is today. Thanks for the important advice!!


I messaged you and please know you are NOT alone.

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Yes, I wish we had gotten gaurdianship early on. but now impossible.

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I’m just curious, why is guardianship impossible? I obtained guardianship when my son was in his early 20’s. I have to give an annual report to the Court. As he is improving, it is possible that the Court will remove the Guardianship. I’m on the fence right now about it, but yes, it HAS BEEN helpful in recent years.

I am no expert on this, but don’t many providers issue their HIPAA forms with an expiration clause? Or if you go to a new provider, they would require their own HIPAA form to be signed?

The lawyer said its much harder now to get guardianship . The courts view it as if someone is trying to take their money. My son hasn’t seen a DR in about 2 years. So he had no Dr to sign form.

It might depend on the state, but a guardianship can be of the PERSON and/or it can be of the person’s FINANCES. Yes, they are hard to get not so much because of the money but because it is taking away the person’s rights. There IS such a thing as a “limited” guardianship. Maybe someone else can explain this better…

For example, in the state where I live, with Guardianship (both person and money), I have control over where the person lives. (This may be the case in all states.) If the person disappears, I can have him picked up and returned to wherever I want him to be even though he is an adult. I obtained a Guardianship (and it was awarded) only because my loved one had a fairly dramatic history that proved to the Court he could not care for himself without intervention and help.

I would also like to point out that we CAN have a say in our loved one’s health even without a signed HIPAA. It depends on the facility/provider or even which staff person sometimes…some will talk to the parent, for example, especially if you are nice about it. Others will not. Regardless, HIPAA does NOT prevent you from GIVING information to the provider or facility. If they tell you that they cannot talk with you, that is FALSE. They may not GIVE you information, but they can talk with you and YOU can GIVE them information. I have often emailed a doctor or counselor without necessarily expecting a response, but the information is helpful to the decisions they make. I realize this is not always possible…sometimes family members are not even told their loved one is in the hospital, for example. Here is an article on the NAMI website that I hope is helpful to you and others…

IT does not expire it starts at 18 years old

yes, guardianship cost $ and court with a judge.
YOU have to ask a person or persons that you trust to take the responsibility on the be the guardian and they do have to see the judge for that. If Something happened to you who would be able to help and take this on.?
The medical power of attorney does not and but can be done with a signature and by yourself. power of med. attonery is what I learned last around 5 yrs. and then you just have to do that paperwork again.

There ARE reasons a situation could qualify for guardianship. If you don’t have a written record of your FMs hospitalizations, medications, doctors, psychotic behaviors, 911 calls, arrests, evictions, damage to property, etc., start putting that together NOW. If you really think you may have a case for guardianship, you should be able to call and talk to an attorney (free consultation) who practices this kind of law. You will need to do some research to find that. Before you pay a retainer, BE SURE to have asked lots of questions and make sure you are comfortable with this person and his her ability to assist you before you proceed. Here is a start…the 2nd site is state specific but I really like the detail it provides…You can Google more info:

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