I'm Legally Blind
Ben was hungry. Meeting that need’s straightforward, right? Wrong. After a few questions, Sister Janice, a social service minister at our Walls office, learned why Ben was hungry. He couldn’t see.
“I’m legally blind,” he explained.
That led to a conversation about medical costs. Ben had just moved to the area from Jackson, Mississippi, where he used to work. After his disability cost him his job, he applied for disability and for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). He had been approved, but he had not applied for Medicare Parts B or D. His medical costs were coming out of his meager disability income, leaving him nothing for food.
“What are they?” he asked, completely unaware of the assistance programs. Immediately, Sister Janice began helping Ben with application for Part B, insurance for medically necessary services and supplies, to cover things like outpatient care, doctor's services, physical or occupational therapists, and other services.
She also helped him apply for Part D, for prescription drug coverage. Once complete, she introduced him to Medicare Cost-Sharing programs offered by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, so he could receive help with the cost of Medicare insurance premiums.
Ben qualified for all three programs. His application process was a rocky road. Because he couldn’t see, if he received replies by mail, he’d have to get help reading them. Sister Janice would often read the reply for him and help him make sense of it. Some problems required her to get on the phone to fix, but after several weeks, he’s been approved and is well on the way back to self-sufficiency.
While meeting basic needs like those Ben first brought Sister Janice, Sacred Heart Southern Missions goes deeper, addressing the fundamental causes for these immediate needs. We are able to explore avenues for returning to work, treating medical conditions and identifying resources that pull families out of poverty, renew their hope and restore their dignity.