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Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
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Why do most social agencies require payment. I am asking because

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Why do most social agencies require payment. I am asking because I am "working poor". Most of $8.50/hour goes toward chronic medical conditions. YMCA would not assist when informed that there was a major cut in work hours. They still wanted $5/month. Had to report Lions Club International to their local Better Business Bureau just for return call for help. This has occured over period of time and not just accute, national financial situation. Seems these agencies are gleeful to say "no"? Have to pay Prescription Advocate $20/medication because Prescription Plan of America had me down on my knees begging for their help last year. Went through their registration and appeal. Then, they told me that I still had not submitted enough paperwork. I replied that I had sent all their phone operator had asked. It seems like it is one documentation game for their federal or state record keeping. My health and help second. All not good for Bipolar; struggle.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.


You are certainly not alone in your frustration! The current health care system in the U.S. needs some work- namely, some help in putting the patients first- and many recent bills have been passed in hopes of doing this. We will see what happens.


In the meantime, unfortunately, it is left to the patient to advocate for him/herself and to jump through all the necessary hoops (paperwork, phone calls, etc.) to get needed care.


Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.

To further address your question, yes, part of what's necessary (right now) is paying fees for health care. Again, there may be some reform of our system under president Obama so this might change, but right now there are lots of fees.


You might be eligible for waivers and/or benefits in some cases if you carry the Bipolar Diagnosis-- sometimes if you ask about any potential reductions in fees prior to getting care you can get some assistance.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This does not answer the question as to why most social agencies won't offer help without strings. I have even heard a minister reply to me, yes, most who receive help won't appreciate it without payment. This was in a private Lifecoach "counseling-type" session. Social agencies almost have to be sued to help clients! Why?
Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.

There is some research to suggest that people (both providers of help and clients) value the help more when there is money exchanged. I certainly know of people who would disagree with this, but this is what the research says.


Also, it is important to remember that the people offering help through social service agencies have to be paid for their work (and they are often paid very little); the only way to generate income to pay them is to charge clients for services rendered.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well, I would like to know about this research, seriously please. Do you have any source(s) that poor people appreciate what they receive because they pay? Or, is this one of those pull-yourself-up-by-your bootstraps notions? I am not asking for agreement purposes, just where the idea originates since so many social agencies use it. Thank you for your availability. Gk
Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.

I'm not suggesting that anyone WANTS to pay a lot of money for any service, especially if that person is struggling financially. I'm only saying that there is some research suggesting that people perceive services to be worth more, more valuable, when there is a higher price-tag.


This article speaks to this phenomenon and there are lots of others on the topic. I have to add, I don't necessarily agree with this theory, I just wanted to make you aware of this research and suggest that it is a possible reason why people charge for services.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well, the question asked was why do social agencies charge. I know that medical professions such as psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, etc. would charge for professional time and services. However, the above URL was a reference for Business Info Guide. It did not specifically speak about my question social agencies, poor and the notion of low cost or minimal fees. Do you have any specific documentations on why charge? This would completely answer my question, please.
Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.
I don't have research to cite on this topic. My guess however, would be something akin to what I mentioned above: social service providers need to be paid, they need to pay for overhead in their building (rent, heat, electric, phone lines, reception staff, etc.), and they need to have funding in order to do outreach to potential consumers.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Lack of research to cite on the topic and a guess does not answer the basic question.

Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.
I have answered this question to the best of my ability. I will opt out so that another expert can try to help you.
Lively and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Am going to accept answer. In agreement that you answered the question to the best of your ability.


Am at a lack of direction to the Lions Club and YMCA and their non profit ministry status, or if they are a not for profit status?


My basic conflict or concern with the above social agencies and others is more of a focus on registration forms and fees and less with the humanity, fraility and disenfranchised individuals served. No ohmsbudsman, no paid congressional lobby, no centralized health care say for specific mental or physical health problems; i.e. diabetes, nutrition, internal medicine, therapist, psychiatrist; under one roof.


Will ask one more question. Do not have to agree; just curious. Have you worked with, or volunteered with working poor people?

Expert:  Lively replied 8 years ago.
Yes- I have worked, pro bono, in a community mental health setting for several years in the past and also for the department of social services. I can understand your frustration at the current mental health/social service agency systems.

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