How did you pay for Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Peaceful, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Peaceful

    Peaceful New Member

    Hi. Fairly new here and have done some research on RTCs in our area. I was hoping those of you who have needed to place their difficult child in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) would share how they went about it and how they funded it.

    I know our local school district is responsible for about 1/3 to 1/2 depending on the facility. I called the insurance company who said they pay nothing towards the bill but I may have an atty who can get them to pay some of the cost as well. We'll have to see.

    Thank you for your help!


  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Which time? lol ....I think they took a kidney, and I'm probably going to have to donate my body to science when I die. Listing potential cadaver as a life goal after death, brings up so many questions in job interviews!

    Seriously - we applied for Katie Beckett Waivers, SSI, Medicaid, and got in with a state program that offered financial assistance here in SC after being on a waiting list for nearly 5 years. We sold almost every fun thing we owned, and when Medicaid said we had to sell the boat - that was the last of it. We're tapped out.

    That, and 2 jobs, lots of bologna samiches, skimping, coupons, car pools, yard sales.

    Best advice: See if there is a state agency in your area that will help. Lutheran family services, Catholic Charities, United Way, places like that can be some resources.

    Good Luck
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Ours was covered through our adoption agreement, medical assistance & a few other funding resources about in our state. The CADI waiver (Beckett waiver) can get things going.

    Good luck in finding answers to your question on this. I know some parents have had the need to take a loan out on their homes & did so with-o question.
  4. Janna

    Janna New Member

    If we had private insurance Dylan wouldn't be in one.

    Dylan, with his diagnosis, qualifies for child disability through SSI.

    With that, he gets state medical assistance.

    With that, we took a psychiatric request to our local MH/MR (Mental Health/Mental Retardation) agency for a referral to the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF). All costs are paid.

    Dylan receives schooling through the intervention unit that covers SPED.

    Alot of people don't know about SSI Child Disability. You don't have to be poverty line to receive it, and even if you don't qualify for cash, you can qualify for the insurance, which pays for ALOT of stuff.

    Can look them up online...I think it's

    I like Star's suggestions, too. Also, even without a change in insurance, you should see if there's a local MH/MR chapter. Our Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) would not accept a child without a referral from them.
  5. Peaceful

    Peaceful New Member

    Thanks for your responses. Our house has no equity so a loan is not a possibility. I've discussed putting it in our son's name so he has some sort of inheritance and it can't be counted in any formulas. Otherwise, he'll end up with nothing due to his sister's condition.

    I wish we owned something fun to sell! LOL! I'm a poor college student right now and my husband makes good money but so much is spent on medical expenses each month that there's not much left over.

    I can contact Catholic Charities and see what they can offer. That's a good idea. If the mental health parity laws were passed in our state that would help immensely.

    Star - I love your posts and have been reading them in various threads. You sound a lot like me. LOL! How many times did you have to put your child in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? I thought it was supposed to solve the problem (of course, does anything really?) not be a repetetive thing.

  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    The school paid for nada for me evem though she had an IEP. I had a choice -- send my daughter now or sue the school district. I couldn't afford both the tuition and the attorney. So, I decided my daughter was more important. After threatening disruption of the adoption, I did get the State (Adoption Services) to pay for one-third of the basic tuition. That didn't cover uniforms, therapy, field trips, basic necessities and my expenses in visiting. I took out a second mortgage on my home and worked two jobs. Ultimately, I cashed in my retirement plans, sold my stocks, sold most unnecessary assets.

    RTCs are financially draining even when we're lucky enough to get some assistance. There are many hidden costs. As brutal as it sounds, RTCs are not meant for the middle class. You should be either very rich or very poor. It pretty much destroys those of us in the middle.

    Since my daughter's issues were behavorial rather than a "true" mental illness, insurance wasn't even a consideration.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Peaceful I'm not sure you can put a house in a minor's name. You might be able to set it up where it's his through a legal guardian, who has control of it or something.

    I asked David about getting a difficult child into Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) and he responded- this discussion is at the end of the DavidWH (something like that) thread in the General forum from a few days back.

    Not sure how much it will help in your situation- I was just asking as a "could need it in the future" situation. I have tried to become more informed about various types of short and long term placements, just in case. I haven't seen anything that indicated private insurance would cover this type of thing. That's not to say some company wouldn't- but I'd be impressed if they did. If yours does, please let me know what company it is!!
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Also, I'd double-check on what, if anything, the school will cover. Just to make sure that it's not a situation where they pay ONLY if they say the child needs to go and they chose where to send them.
  9. Peaceful

    Peaceful New Member

    Klmno, thanks so much for the head's up about checking on the school. I'll be sure to do that. We have an advocacy agency as well that I'm going to contact.

    I know for a fact you can have a house in a minor's name. We have a real estate atty we're working with, but the asset is in the kid's name. He files taxes every year but he owes nothing because there's no income on the house but he can write off the interest (it's so silly isn't it?). We're checking to see what's the best way to handle it right now with the atty.

    Meow, you are so right about the middle class getting squeezed in this situation. It's horrible! My husband is on chemo and has a debilitating illness and he won't be able to work til he's eligible for Medicare etc so I know there's no way he'd be willing to cash anything in (401K etc). I can see his point too.

    We're caught right now between husband and Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and whatever other options there are. Since she's definitely been diagnosed with BiPolar (BP) she is considered disabled. I'm going to follow up on the SSI as well for that reason. I know she's covered under the Amercian's With Disabilities Act (not sure what that means to this situation though).

    Thanks so much you guys! If you think of anything else, please let me know.

  10. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    We used our daughter's college account money. After that was gone - we used up our savings.

    Our insurance company wouldn't even talk to us about covering the cost.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Peaceful - thanks for the compliment. I love your name. I guess I could have been named Peace but I got Star instead. I probably would have gotten a middle name like OUT. Peace out.

    How many times has difficult child been in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? big PHEW/WHEW
    lets see. I can't remember all of it - but off the top of my head...and I'm sure there was way more stuff than this.

    8 Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or TBS Placements ranging from 3 months - 18 months, inc. (1) group home
    2 Psychiatric hospital stays (1) 2 months (1) 1 week
    1 State psychiatric hospital stay 2 months
    3 MRI's of his brain - yup he's gotta goodn'
    numerous blood work, heavy metals tests
    1 EEG study
    2 EKG's
    1 broken jaw as a result of a peer fight in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) age 16
    3 broken fingers as a result of fights in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)
    1 broken arm - he took the cast off the next day
    4 visits to ER for emergency stitches for busting windows in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)
    2 head injuries trip to ER due to inappropriate therapeutic hold by Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff - (1)was fired
    1 choke injury due to inappropriate hold at age 6 - he was fired
    1 attempt to hang himself while on Zoloft age 12 in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)
    He's flooded 2 Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s completely
    He's escaped from every locked facility they've ever put him in
    He's been encopretic since he was 4
    He's also been known to cut himself for attention not for feeling

    64 medications (yes I have the list)
    Countless therapists
    I think around 12 psychologists
    1 hypnotist
    3 years with EMDR therapy helped the most
    2 6 month diet eliminations
    1 stroke for me
    over 100 books read -created a lending library for our caseworkers office - (mine and some donations from here)
    Most recently -
    Charged with 11 counts of conspiracy to commit theft, 2 counts of burglary in the 1st and 1 count burglary in the 2nd - a felony
    95 days in Department of Juvenile Justice (yuk)
    and he got charged in court with 2 felony counts of burglary, 3 years probation, 6,000 in fines, 1000 hours community service. He has 3 years to get it all done, if he violates probation he goes to jail (adult) for 6 years with-o the chance for appeal or parole.

    and a partridge in a pear tree -

    This has been in 11 years. By most accounts - it's not so bad. We're alive, we're smarter, we're not healthier, but we sure do value what we have a lot more because of all we had and had to give up. We know we're blessed with a tremendous amount - because we have very little of it left. IN the midst of this - DF fell at work due to a new hire lying on his application and not knowing his trade - DF fell 2 stories through a floor and landed on his back almost severing his spinal cord. So 8 years ago - he became disabled. And sometime before I'm 45 I think I'm going to go legally insane. lol. I just can't see how it would be so terribly bad to have someone pay your bills, cook your meals, wash your clothes, clean your room all while you went to art therapy. lol I could be wrong.

    Looking over this list difficult child sure has packed an awful lot into so few years. I just hope something he learned somewhere will help him someday.


  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The lst Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was covered by insurance BUT as soon as he was no longer using substances DUH!! they wanted him out. The insurance
    covered about 1/2 and then when that was gone we agreed to pay it
    all over a period of time. Turns out it was not the program that
    it had once been.

    The 2nd Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was "top of the line" and I almost didn't call it at
    all since I knew luminaries had placed their kids there. Lo and
    behold, it turned out that they had a very liberal sliding scale
    payment plan as they had wealthy contributors etc. The program
    was terrific. Our son did not do well there.

    Sadly.....the 3rd Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was totally free. It was part of the Department of Juvenile Justice
    system. I had told our boy that he "had" to work program #2 or
    I would pass him back to his Department of Juvenile Justice counselor. He didn't. I did.
    He complied and got out in the standard six months.

    He learned alot in the programs. It did not stop his pot or his
    booze. Very sad. DDD
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Jeeze, Star, how are you sane? by the way, what is encopretic?
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Oh Star* ya just plain scare me... "but we just don't know what to do with him" ....

    Back to the question.... For us we qualified for nada, zilch, nothing!!! No Katie Beckett. Nothing!!!
    For K's 5 week psychiatric hospital stay we have seen glimpses of the bill so far I think it looks like somewheres around 25$ Dollars!!! Ha Ha~ Grand!
    I don't know how we will pay, umm slowly...
    and he wants to put her back in??? Uh NO. At least not in the same place!!!

    We are those people who make too much for this but not enough to pay for the fricken bill... without it killing us...
    She does not qualify for SSI or any of that either...
    SO sorry I am no help... K is only 6 so I don't want to think about what body parts I will have left by the time she is 18... maybe my skin??? Oh and my fingers so I can still type!!! Please.
  15. Peaceful

    Peaceful New Member

    Star, OMG! I thought we had it bad here. She's only 13 and on her way to court on Friday but goodness. I love that you still have a sense of humor. I know at times it feels as if the waves are closing over our heads and it seems to be easier to lay back and just let it take us away!

    DDD, so sorry to hear about your son. It's hard when they'r dually diagnosed. I've been sober for 15 years and I sponsor some women with depression etc and it's so tough. Thanks for being candid about your experiences.

    Totoro, I bet we're going to be like you guys but I have to try. I hope she doesn't have to go to one but we've known it was a possibility since last year. Unfortunately the violence got so bad that I had to file charges. I hope she learns from the court experience and husband (if she has to go there).

  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If this is the first time she's been charged and had to go to court, there are ways to let her "experience her consequences" and still get her home so no one has to deal with the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) route just yet.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My son was not in what many call an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but he did have a 4 month stay at a psychiatric hospital.

    At the time we needed to send him inpatient, I had NO clue as to how to pay for it. husband was a grad student, we were living with my parents, I was totally unable to work because SOMEONE had to be able to pick difficult child up at a moment's notice and stay home with him when he was totally unable to function.

    My son was VERY VERY violent. To his little sister and to me, mostly. We still do not know why, other than that his sister followed the house rules and I was the one who enforced the rules mostly.

    We had the state medicaid for kids. After many emails, phone calls, etc... with the doctor and therapist, I called the medicaid hotline for our state. They routed me through a few people, then to an Intake Specialist. She was wonderful. I spent 45 minutes describing everything (and we only knew the tip of the iceberg - so much more came out while he was inpatient!).

    The lovely lady first commended me on not killing him when he attacked me, said that they get a LOT of parents just stomping the kids when they attack and it makes everything so much worse. Then she said we should have called to send him inpatient earlier, we qualified WAY before I was done.

    She then certified him for a 2 week stay and FOUND A BED while I was on the phone!!!!

    The State of Oklahoma paid for 100% of the hospital costs. They did not pay for the driving, different clothing and shoes he needed, anyone to watch my younger kids, etc....

    They did pay for his siblings' therapy, and were really good about it.

    When he started having major problems after husband graduated and got a job, well, we had private insurance that would pay for 24 days of inpatient mental health care. Period. (And this really IS a good policy, esp considering all the other health issues!).

    I ended up speaking to our pastor, who sent me to another, and so on until I had talked to 43 people about finding a placement and a way to pay for it!!! There were NO placements given his violence.

    The resource officer (cop) at his school talked to me. He gave me a list of places that none of the professionals and others I talked to knew of. Mostly though, you had to be sent there by the court. Though I pressed charges, the court would do nothing. And neither would DHS. So, while the list didn't help us, it DID help others, because I gave copies of it to a number of other people.

    Currently my son lives with his grandparents (my mom and dad). My dad had retired and wanted to try to handle him. So far, so good. Fingers crossed. My son seems to have turned a corner, and is really doing well, esp considering where he was. He even has a plan for college!!! And how to pay for it!!!!!

    It might be helpful to ask the school resource officer to help. Many of the court ordered placements were really really nice.


  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Second mortgage that I paid off after 10yrs. At the time, I was willing to sell the house.
    Don't ever think anything will cure. The hope is that your difficult child will learn the skills required for them to control themselves and accept responsibility.
    It's a painful,difficult financial burden that no one wants to make.
  19. Penta

    Penta New Member

    A huge private educational loan from Key Bank which will take me until I am 80 years old to complete payments. I considered it an investment in the life of a child. Some people spend $50,000 on a vehicle. My investment has paid off in full. My girl is now 19 and a wonder to behold. She still has Learning Disability (LD) issues to deal with, but behaviorally, she is a mature, typical young adult.

    I am a single grandmother, now semi retired, who has raised my granddaughter since she was very young.
  20. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    I was wondering if the other two "private funders" I know about (Fran and Penta)would post... It is really difficult if you are not rich or poor or do not live in a state that offers assistance for chronic mental illness

    We used ex-difficult child's college fund and as a consequence ended up borrowing for college for bot kids. It is hard, but it was worth it. There are no guarantees, ever, but it gave my son a life to live.

    Best to you,