Legal

So you or a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

The first thing, of course, is to do your best to get the right medical help.

  • While there is some basic information about the diagnosis and treatment that is important to know, what will become clear is that every case of Parkinson’s is different.
  • The diagnosis will lead to treatment recommendations tied to the individual’s symptoms and needs, and will vary over time as the disease process unfolds and/or treatment options change.
  • Patients and caregivers alike do their best when gathering a baseline of medical knowledge and then focusing their attention on the needs at hand.

The model of approaching the medical considerations of a diagnosis also applies to the legal, financial, insurance and other practical aspects of managing life with a chronic, progressive condition.

  • Just as there is no one-size-fits-all medical solution, there is no single answer as to how to best approach these and other very real world concerns.
  • This often causes people to stay in denial until pushed into action, at which point they may make unwise, rash decisions, or simply miss opportunities to best structure approaches that will maximize their resources and attend to their needs.
  • Even worse, denial adds stress, which can exacerbate symptoms and complicate the disease management process.

The good news is that there is some basic information about all of these concerns, coupled with resources to help better define your situation and can take much of the mystery away.

  • Becoming familiar with the basics, and your options, can help you feel more secure.
  • It can also help you to know when you need to reach out for expert help, and how to find the right resources to make your management of these matters as smooth as possible.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR RIGHTS

At the core of most legal questions that people with Parkinson’s (PWPs) or their caregivers ask is the fundamental inquiry “What are my Rights?” There are, indeed, a number of legal rights that both individuals and their caregivers may have. As you might expect, however, the sources and extent of those rights may vary for a number of reasons.

This Legal section will give you a greater understanding of:

Content for this section provided by Mark Rubin, J.D., Chair of NPF’s 5th Annual YOPN Conference, who has had PD since 1997.  Thanks to Claudia Center, J.D., The Legal Aid Society--Employment Law Center and Allsup, Inc. for contributions in their area of expertise.

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