Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Schizophrenic Family Member Ran Away

My son, who has schizophrenia has run away. I am his legal guardian. Should I notify Social Security and Medicade? My fear is that if I do, they will discontinue his benefits. At that point, I am sure he will return. Does anyone know how difficult it is to get the benefits reinstated? I know he will need meds upon his reutrn and the ones he takes are insanely expensive.


How long has he been gone, and are you his “representative payee”? In our state, a “change of living arrangement” (or whatever it’s called) doesn’t need to be reported to SS until 30 days have passed. If you’re not his rep payee, then I would leave things alone. If you are his rep payee, I’d probably report to SS. Hopefully, they won’t make changes until a much later date, if they have to.

When our son was hospitalized a couple of times beyond the 30 day limit, I reported and nothing changed with his SSI and Medicaid. My guess is, they are so back-logged with paperwork and tracking people that they run months behind in making any changes to benefits.


Hello, I would think calling the local authorities would be a good idea. In case he is in the area, it will give the local police a heads up


My son too has left. He has been gone for 6 weeks. 3 weeks ago we got word from Onstar that his car was wrecked 300 miles from home
By the time we got there he was gone and found a totaled car that I was a consigned on
Not sure where he has gone
The day before he left he seemed normal and things seemed fine

1 Like

So sorry. Will pray for his safe return. Hang in there and take care of yourselfself!!


I pray that you find your son safely and soon.

It can take up to a month to reinstate benefits from my experience I would give it a few weeks. If he still is gone, I would ,te social security know.he still has a right to receive Medicare and disability, even if he is not with you. If he needed medical care, you would want the benefits to be in place.

Good luck. Keeping you both in my prayers.


Thank you so much for sharing your experience! If it takes a month I can pay for his meds myself, but after that I would be out of funds for sure. Hope all is well with you and your family.

Why would you stop his benefits? Has SSI, etc. contacted you? I would keep things as they are for now. That way you avoid having to stop/restart things.

I think you are right. I think SS told me I have to report a change of address and if he starts working. I think he is working, up I don’t have all the stuff they want, like copies of paychecks and employer’s tax ID number. Medicade did also. I guess I should hold off for now. I want to be honest but I don’t want to be stupid either!

I wouldn’t report to SSA until you have filed a missing person’s report with the police and have some paperwork showing you are actively searching for him. Then when he comes back, go to SSA WITH HIM and they will reinstate quickly.

I hope he comes home soon. @Day-by-Day has the same information I received about the timing. It took three days to reinstate SSI when my family member came home since I reported at the beginning. Medicaid did not suspend.


Thank you so much for the advice! I guess it is time to get started with the authorities. Hope all is well with you and your family.

1 Like

It’s too soon to notify anyone of anything…don’t make things harder than they already are. Technically, he still needs SSI to survive and there is no reason to call Medicaid/Medicare as he still needs to be insured. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I pray for a safe return. Keep us posted!

You are definitely right!!! He called today and is supposed to be on the way home. I got him an appointment for his Abilify monthly injection tomorrow. It is so good to hear good advice from nice folks like you. God bless you and your family!