Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Mentally ill being responsible for paying outstanding bills?


I don’t know if I’m recalling this correctly or not however I seem to recall awhile ago someone posting that they didn’t have to pay for bills that were created or accrued while they were receiving psychiatric treatment. Does anyone know if this is true? My son now has 2 cell phone bills from when he was in the shelter and unstable and one of them just sent a notice about it going into collections.


Yes, yes we are held responsible for our bills.

Bills that ill never be able to pay.

my first stay cost 35,000 dollars.

It’s crazy really.


I wish. No, we’re responsible for our bills. Except a student loan in the US. You can get a medical waiver if you’re ill.


Here in Oklahoma all I was ever charged for a hospital stay was a medicare co-payment of around $70.00. Most of the time I don’t even get that. Once, a long time ago, I was taken to the emergency room for an emergency commitment. I really, really did not want to go there. Just to add insult to injury, they charged me $70.00 for the visit. I couldn’t see being made to pay for something I didn’t want so badly. I made them wait as long as I possibly could to pay the bill. I got some threatening letters, and I finally paid the bill.


Some people who receive disability are deemed incompetent to manage their financial affairs and have to have someone else collect their benefits for them and manage their finances. Maybe that’s what you were thinking of.


Do you mean when you are physically in a hospital or psyche ward AT THE TIME? Or do you mean OUTSIDE A HOSPITAL; but being treated? Because if it’s really a law, it could easily and deliberately be abused. So I tend to think it’s not true. I know a symptom of Bi-Polar disease can be recklessly spending. But heck, When I was addicted to crack and seeing a psychiatrist and spending time in various hospitals and if I would have known that I could spend freely because I wouldn’t have to pay it back…! I would have had a field day with new cars, clothes, furniture, etc.


It isn’t fair sometimes but they can be held responsible I assume unless someone else takes responsibility. It doesn’t seem fair though, especially if they are unemployed. In my case, I owe my college back my scholarship and I’m currently unemployed. It went to collections. So my dad is giving me an extra $100 a month so I can pay it off monthly. The bill is about $1,000 so it’ll take me a year to pay off.


Cant remember Barbie----Im pretty sure he would be responsible for something like that, although it may take them awhile to get to him-but they will. My son never had to pay for his hospital bills.
C. wracked up some pretty good-sized bills. Electric, rent, etc…didnt catch up to him until he was picked up at different times by the police. A payee would be SO good for him to have! They take everything out for my son first-rent,utilities,and doc bills, they also put a little up for savings. This is just my experience---I was my sons payee a long time ago. Did not work out because he was always demanding HIS money right NOW! We has some pretty bad fights over it. Now, he has a 3rd party as payee and so far…no problems. Social security has stated that their payments will only be recieved through a payee for him because he went through mental health court.
He seems to accept this much better.


Thank you everyone. I couldn’t find anything on it. I guess it makes sense that he would be held responsible same as anyone else. I was just hoping there was some sort of lope hole :wink:


FOR US: Patient is always responsible for psych hospital bills unless state steps in for medicaid coverage and patient is always responsible for all other debts incurred if over 17… If patient gets forced psych hold because you were considered by police to be threat to self/others or nuisance or if you got upset with psych doctor, some of the hospital social workers will try to sign you up for SSI /medicaid for VERY low income, little work history and no financial resources. Usually, these forced hospital stays end in unemployment for victims and sometimes homelessness so social worker case management is frequently demanded by courts as follow up to a mental hospitalization. I understand for a person on SSDI, a mental hospitalization will cause delay in payment of your benefits check sometimes due to medicare rules. SSDI people only get medicare after 2 years ‘on the check’ so I would suggest getting yourself stabilized and taking anger management class (so you don’t get confrontational or aggressive if confronted by a verbally harassing stranger or get get mouthy with the mental care) before you get on medicare so you don’t find out. Anyone paying rent, utilities or car payment will definitely need social worker help to hang onto it but most of the mental hospitals have social worker on staff to straighten this out…