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Author: lcd186 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 861  
Subject: Re: Going thru Divorce Date: 10/26/2011 12:31 AM
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Hello Apacherose,

I am an infrequent reader & poster on TMF. FYI I have been on disability for psychiatric illness since spring of 2010 (benefits retroactive to 2009). I am actually still learning a lot about disability myself and am very limited to what I know about other disabilities and issues.

I just saw your post here. My sympathies on the stress and issues your family is facing and what your younger sister is facing. Otherwise, all I can say is that I would also be very concerned that your sister is getting adequate counsel and assistance in consideration of her mental capacity of the issues. The mortgage is a serious issue and the assistance she needs with her interrogatories are significant.

You say she is in Maryland. The only thing I can think of is trying to find to contact some sort of State of Maryland disability advocacy office or non-profits and see if they can help to advocate for your sister in the legal and financial decisions, or at least possibly help your family somehow in trying to support and protect your sister in making any legal and financial decisions. I couldn't find immediately (unless I missed it) some sort of government office for assisting adults with mental disabilities (mentally challenged), but I think more digging on your part or a couple of telephone calls. Here's a link to the Maryland govt. disabilities organizations.
http://www.dhmh.state.md.us/dda_md/adorganizations.htm

Another thing: I wonder if she is eligible to get additional second opinion or suggestions from the state Legal Aid organization. I found this link for Maryland: http://www.mdlab.org/ .

One thought I have on all this: if she is considered mentally fit to make decisions on her own, you and the rest of the family may not be able to intervene much unless some sort of legal status is declared on her behalf. Obviously you need to check into this carefully, but this is a concern I have. As a side note, remember that my personal disability is a psychiatric illness. With this in mind, my limited understanding is that in some limited and usually finite situations can someone with a severe mental illness be considered unable to make decisions for themselves and have legal and medical interventions or some sort of Power of Attorney done. Not sure how this may affect your sister and your family's ability to aid her.

Good luck.

Lois Carmen D.
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