Jaquied Asked May 2010

How can a full-time caregiver with no income get their own emergency hospital bills paid and stop the hate mail?

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For 3 and 1/2 years I have been housebound with my mother's care. She had a stroke, went into a coma, woke up childlike. She has the use of her limbs (including trying to break out of the house sometimes). Her judgement and memory are off, some dementia. She's not been in the hospital in 21/2 years or more. Doing great. Recently I had to use the local hospital emergency room and have no insurance or income. Eventually, I had surgery at a State hospital. Now, fully recovered. I applied for Medicare to cover the local hospital bills. I was denied because of Mother's income (SSI and Military pension). Meanwhile, I get threatning letters. One of my medical problems is an ulcer in my colon. These stress factors don't help. Where do we fit in the system. The caregivers who give up their own lives to take care of parents. I don't go to doctors. I treat myself with over the counter meds and vitamins. I were denied temporary food stamps and Medicare. Edna

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toadballet1 May 2010
So very sorry to hear of your recent surgery and problems with the hospital bills. There is very little gov. support for family caregivers. My personal belief is that they are perfectly happy letting family quietly provide care without compensation or tax breaks. Meanwhile, they fund everything under the sun to bail out big business and individuals who have "over-extended" themselves. So much waste!
Have you thought about talking to your hospital social worker? I have found them to be so knowledgeable and helpful. At least they can direct you to local programs. btw, why are they considering your mother's income for your Medicare elegibility? You may want to contact your local Legal Aid office - these are volunteer lawyers who work without a fee. They could tell you if your Medicare claim was prepared correctly.
good luck
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