Thanks to M-HeLP, Self-Employed Mom Gets Healthcare
“Ms. Daniels ” is a single mother with a baby due in late March. Last fall, she was twice denied Medicaid coverage for her pregnancy. “When I first applied for Medicaid, I had just found out that I was pregnant and was also looking for housing.”
Ms. Daniels is self-employed with a business so new that she has not yet had to file taxes. And, as many now do, she promotes her business on Facebook. However, when she applied for Ohio Medicaid, a case worker saw her Facebook page, decided that she was lying about her income, and denied her application. Ms. Daniels applied a second time, submitting a self-declaration of income with her application. Again, the case worker used the Facebook page to decide that her income statement was untrue and that she was not cooperating with the verification process. Ms. Daniels was denied coverage a second time.
“I was very upset by the denials. I applied again and got the same case worker who I felt wasn’t treating me fairly! She called me inquiring about Facebook posts and then told me she was denying me for fraud. During this whole process I was not getting prenatal care because I couldn’t afford it. I was very stressed out and ended up going to the emergency room toward the end of this ordeal.”
Then, M-HeLP was launched. A social worker at Good Samaritan, trained by M-HeLP, referred Ms. Daniels. Initially, she was very skeptical as to what M-HelP could do for her. Our advocate, Deanna White investigated the situation. She helped Ms. Daniels reapply for Medicaid, and submitted an income chart based on data from her appointment book. As a result of Legal Aid’s intervention, Ms. Daniels was approved for health care coverage. Now, she is looking forward to welcoming her baby into the world.
“Legal Aid gave me very specific and clear instructions on where to apply, and what I’d need to verify the information on my application. All I needed was internet access on my phone to fill out the application and they took care of the rest. It was so quick! I didn’t even have to physically appear at Job and Family Services to do any interviews, just received an email that I had been approved,” stated Ms. Daniels. “I highly recommend Legal Aid, they are professionals and will make sure that you’re being treated fairly.”
Helping Families Seek Needed Protection
“Marta” separated from her partner and children’s father due to his increasing emotional abuse, jealousy, and attempts to control her behavior in and out of the home. After she left with the children, the partner’s behavior became threatening and erratic. He left her a series of voicemails and text messages threatening to kill himself, or Marta and her parents, or to take the children.
Legal Aid assisted Marta in obtaining a civil protection order, which included protection for the children. As a result, her partner agreed to attend regular therapy, and was given supervised parenting time with the children. The Protection Order has prevented further threatening communication or actions against Marta, and she is able to monitor his contact with the children closely to ensure that it is safe and appropriate. When the case concluded, Marta wrote to her Legal Aid attorney: “My family and I thank you from the heart for your representation and support on this case. May you receive more blessings and success.”
Child HeLP ensures Michael receives needed supports
7-year-old Michael had recently moved in with his grandmother because his parents could not care for him. A few years earlier, his family had been homeless; now, suddenly, his parents were not in his life. As a result, Michael began having repeated angry outbursts in his first grade classroom and was at risk of being expelled. Michael’s doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital had diagnosed him as having ADHD and were trying to determine whether he also had PTSD. His grandmother did not know where to turn. Then, a social worker at the Children’s Fairfield pediatric clinic referred Michael to Child HeLP. A Legal Aid attorney helped Michael’s grandmother ask the school to evaluate Michael for special education and counseling services and represented her at the school meetings. As a result of Legal Aid’s advocacy, Michael began receiving the special education services he needed. Michael is learning to cope with frustration, his behavior is improving, and he is now in a better position to learn and be successful in school.
Veteran receives long awaited disability compensation
Mr. D., an Army veteran, was struggling with mental health disabilities originating from his 1972-1974 service that led to his current diagnosis of PTSD. The Legal Aid attorney gathered medical and military evidence, supplemented with client affidavit that led to the VA determining that Mr. D. disabilities were 100% service connected. As a result of Legal Aid’s efforts, Mr. D. was awarded a 100% service-connected disability compensation rating from the VA. He received a $48,000 back-award which he used to purchase a car and make some repairs on his home. He will receive $2,906/month so long as he is 100% disabled.
Legal Aid Prevents Family’s Eviction
Vanessa Cambridge*, a working mother of three, was being threatened with eviction. Her landlord accused her of not paying required fees and although Ms. Cambridge had paid the fees, her landlord would not acknowledge the payment. She was very scared and stressed at the notion of being homeless and she was also worried about Danny, her three-year-old son, who was struggling with severe asthma.
Ms. Cambridge took Danny to his appointment at Cincinnati Children’s and the doctor discovered that the family might be evicted. He referred Ms. Cambridge to Child HeLP, Legal Aid’s medical-legal partnership with Cincinnati Children’s. A Legal Aid attorney contacted the landlord. She presented the manager with copies of receipts proving that Ms. Cambridge had, in fact, paid the fees, and defended the eviction in Court. As a result, the eviction case was dismissed. She and her children were able to remain securely in their apartment.
Working single mothers like Ms. Cambridge are particularly vulnerable when issues like this arise. Without secure housing, she could have easily experienced a cascade of negative outcomes potentially culminating in losing her job and her income. Even though she had proof of payment, she could not achieve a positive resolution on her own. Legal Aid’s assistance was critical in preventing a crisis from becoming a catastrophe.
Helping Children and Families Thrive
Seven year old “Penny” must use a wheelchair. She has a rare, profoundly disabling genetic condition, Trisomy 18, so she will never walk. Penny and her mother lived in a third floor apartment with no elevator. For Penny to leave the apartment, her mother had to carry her and her wheelchair up and down 3 flights of stairs. Their application for wheelchair accessible housing had been denied. Penny’s mom did not know where to turn to get help.
Then, Penny’s pediatrician at Children’s Hospital referred her to Legal Aid’s Child HeLP program.
Today, Penny and her mom are happily settled into their new first floor, fully wheel-chair accessible apartment, thanks to the resolution secured by the Legal Aid Child HeLP attorney.