Food, water, shelter, and clothing are the basic necessities to life. For far too many people this is not always a guarantee. COVID-19 has exposed a segment of our community that often gets forgotten. Yes, I know that this pandemic has stretched the limits of patience, but for some it has been the complete tipping point. Mr. Hill came to Legal Services of the Hudson Valley with a Fair Hearing already scheduled due to failure to comply with employment and eligibility requirements. His food stamps, utility assistance, cash assistance and Medicaid were all discontinued. Unfortunately, Mr. Hill was not able to make it to his hearing.
You see Mr. Hill had pneumonia and would be putting his health at further risk if he showed at the hearing. Then COVID hit. All hearings postponed. Mr. Hill still did not have any benefits and now he had an added layer of isolation and fear because of the pandemic and his ongoing health condition. Just imagine being sick without access to adequate food, utilities, money or your medicine. LSHV could not leave this gentleman out in the cold.
LSHV fought the Department of Social Services (DSS) on behalf of Mr. Hill. He was stressed that it had been six months without his basic necessities and the lack of healthcare coverage was exacerbating the damage to his already poor health. He was not able to afford his medicine, was worried about a relapse of pneumonia or catching COVID, could not receive the knee surgery he so desperately needed, and the mental anguish was taking a major toll.
Working diligently on this case, LSHV was able to get DSS to reinstate all of Mr. Hill’s benefits! During the process we were also able to obtain his stimulus check which took a huge wieight off his shoulders While many of us take for granted the basics like food, shelter and medical benefits, many people struggle to meet these needs daily. During the time we advocated for Mr. Hill, it was our honor to keep in contact and encourage Mr. Hill to rest and recover and know that we had his best interest in the forefront of our fight.
If you or someone you know is struggling to get the benefits they are entitled to or are living with a disability or with HIV/AIDS please visit https://www.lshv.org. LSHV staff fights to protect low-income and newly unemployed people living with disabilities, HIV/AIDS and other illnesses . Just know, you are never alone in your fight.