Story of Justice: Harold
Challenge: Harold was referred to Legal Aid through the Medical Legal Partnership, a pilot project that connects Memorial Health System patients with legal advice and assistance. As a result of a stroke and amputations, Harold has severely limited mobility. He was prescribed and provided a power wheelchair since he only has minimal use of only one hand. The power wheelchair allowed him to move about his living area with some independence, as well as made it possible for him to get to his necessary doctor’s appointments.
Unfortunately, his power wheelchair was stolen from the group home in which he was living. He reported it stolen with the police and his attempts to procure a replacement were unsuccessful. Unable to pay for a replacement himself on his tight Social Security income, he was stuck using a manual wheelchair.
Assistance: At his next appointment Jack’s Memorial provider noticed how much he was struggling. Upon learning what happened, she referred him to the Medical Legal Project attorney who was able to consult with him onsite that very day. Legal Aid was able to assist Jack in obtaining all the necessary documentation (i.e. police report, letter of medical necessity, Medicare authorization forms) to submit a Medicare claim for a replacement power wheelchair.
Why it Matters: Although the request was initially denied, the Legal Aid attorney worked together with Jack’s healthcare providers at Memorial to provide additional supporting evidence. Eventually, the replacement chair was approved and delivered to Jack’s home.