Seeking Advice on State Assistance!

Updated on August 10, 2010
R.J. asks from Las Vegas, NV
15 answers

Here I am swallowing my pride but I'm in a desperate situation. My husband was recently in the hospital 2 weeks ago and his diagnosis is NOT good at all. He has what they call Cardiomyopathy(weak heart). Then went back in this weekend with more complications and was told he has Congestive Heart Failure on top of the Cardiomyopathy and that his heart is only working at 20%. He is also Diabetic and has High Blood Pressure. We have tried for 2 months now to get approved for medicaid but we keep getting denied. We have 2 young children at home. He is on unemployment which is soon to run out and I have a part time commission based job. My paychecks are never the same and here lately I haven't been doing that well at making any commission checks or putting in hours. Husband was informed that he is disabled and can't handle stressful situations which in returns means he can't take care of the kids alone. I'm in a rock in a hard place. We need my job for it is most of the income but I can't work not knowing if anything is going to happen to my husband while the kids are with him. I really can't afford a babysitter for two children as well. One will start Kindergarten and that's all day and my other will go to Pre-K for 2 hours. I can possibly put the older child in Safe Key till I get off work at 6pm but I don't feel that is fair. My husbands friends and family have told him to go apply for Social Security so not sure if that's the right move to make too. I'm really at a loss and quite honestly can't think straight!! Husband was told if he wants to live he needs to see a Cardiologist on a regular basis but with NO insurance that is impossible. There has got to be some type of help out there that I don't know about so please please please help me out.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

(((((hugs))))) This is a stressful time for you. Many hugs to you and your family. Take care and I hope that your husband's health improves to the fullest that it can.

I did a web search for you; here is a long list of resources that you can call and apply for. Be strong! Be persistant! There is support for your family, you will have to push hard, you can make it happen. We're here for you if you need emotional support.

Print out this list; these links and forms will inform you of what's out there and get you started. I'd contact #7 first! They may be able to aleviate some of your first needs while you get into the system.

PDF Application Form for Nevada Assistance: Division of Welfare and Supportive Services
Application for Assistance/ “Working for the Welfare of ALL Nevadans”
Programs You May Apply For:
-Food Assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps people buy food.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) helps families with children meet their basic needs with cash/medical
-Medical Coverage under Family Medical Coverage (FMC) which helps families with dependent children with medical care or
the Medical Assistance for the Aged, Blind and Disabled (MAABD) program which helps aged (65 years and older), blind and
disabled individuals with medical care.
-Time Frames
If eligible, SNAP benefits are issued from the date of the application, Medicaid benefits are issued from the 1st day of the month
you apply and TANF benefits are paid from the date of approval or 30 days from the date of the application, whichever is
sooner. If eligible, SNAP benefits are processed within 30 days from the date of the application. If your household has little or
no income, you could receive SNAP benefits within 7 days from the date of your application. TANF and most Medicaid
applications are processed within 45 days from the application date unless there are unusual circumstances. Den

Division of Welfare and Supportive Services

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services website/Full Menu of assistance links can be found on this page.
Our goal is to strengthen families, protect public health, and assist individuals in achieving the highest level of self-sufficiency.
Our staff of some 5200 employees is here to serve and meet your needs. I invite you to contact us with any questions or specific needs that we may be able to address.

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services/for disability
Pursuant to changes made by the 2009 Legislature, the Office of Disabilities Services, Disability RX and Senior RX have been moved into and merged with the Division for Aging Services as the new Aging & Disability Service Division
Long menu list of services here.

The mission of the Aging and Disability Services Division is to develop, coordinate, and deliver a comprehensive support service system of essential services, which will allow Nevada's elders and those with disabilities to lead independent, meaningful, and dignified lives.
Summary of Legislation for person's with disability here and essential services provided information PDF.

NEVADA DIVISION OF CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES(DCFS) Our Mission The Nevada Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), together in genuine partnership with families, communities and other governmental agencies, provides support and services to assist Nevada's children and families in reaching their full human potential.

Lutheran Social Services Of Nevada
PO Box 2079
Las Vegas, NV 89125-2079
Mission Statement:Lutheran Social Services of Nevada expresses the love of Christ by serving and caring for people in need. We realize that everyone faces hard times. The people that we serve may be experiencing a short term financial setback due to losing their job, death of a family member, health issues, or for any number of reasons they need our help. We exist to help people by giving them a "hand up" to see them through their crisis with compassion and dignity. To honor their dreams and goals by providing services that provide a clear path toward self sufficiency. Since 1997, Lutheran Social Services of Nevada has cared for and served over 135,000 families in need by providing essential services in the form of emergency food, clothing, health, shelter and transitional housing, supportive services including financial assistance (such as utility assistance for seniors and rental assistance through the HPRP program), case management, education programming and "wrap-around" care. Women, men, children, youth and seniors are served Monday-Friday.

Medicaid Nevada help and information, Nevada Medicaid eligibility, what is Medicaid, NV
Nevada Medicaid, Nevada Public Health Insurance
Directory of Medicaid Help Information, Medicaid In Nevada, Medicaid assistance
Finding the right answers and information about a complicated topic like Medicaid can mean searching through hundreds of pages at government and private websites. To help seniors and caregivers get started in their search, our editors have compiled this digest of Nevada Medicaid help and information resources.

Portal: Nevada Medicaid

Excellent Complete worksheet with all covered services listed.

To obtain the locations and telephone number of sites near you, call the Nevada Division of Welfare or visit

organization to support people with disabilities in NV

Nevada Medicade Home Page/forms/office locations available here: In 1967, Nevada implemented a federal and state funded medical program called Medicaid with the passage of Title XIX of the Social Security Act. The purpose of this program is to provide medically necessary health care and related services to Medicaid eligible persons.

To apply to be paid to care for your husband:
Contact Info and Descriptions for all Nevada Medicaid 1915(c) HCBS Waivers, 2006 The following is a list of all Nevada 1915(c) Waivers by name - complete with a description, contact information and web link.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yes. There is a LOT of help out there.

Make an appointment with the Social Work dept at the hospital that your DH was a patient. A lot of people don't know that child services is only one of dozens of branches of social work. (Sort of like how pediatrics is only one branch of medicine). One of my oldest friends is a social worker, who works in cancer care. About 20% of her job is counseling, 20% in "patients/ chart management" (meaning that she makes sure her patients have the right appointments at the right times with the right docs... instead of 2months out when it needs to happen NOW, or this doc before that docm etc), and the remaining 60% is resources. Meaning that she finds money for her patients to pay for those appointments, housing, bills, etc. This is done through hundreds of possible areas ranging from state, to charity (catholic community services is huge), to grants, to "forgiving" debts. On average, she "takes care of" 150k-200k worth of bills per patient. And most of those are non-medical bills.

Hospitals ALL have a social work dept. They're far more overworked than her dept is (since she works out of a single treatment facility, and only has a couple hundred people to wrangle), but they do the same job.

As far as SS goes... YES! Apply. Yesterday. It's why the program was set up in the first place.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughter is almost 25 and also has heart problems. She is on Social Security disability. She resisted it for quite a long time, but finally applied and is one of the few people I know that got approved on her first application. It is obvious that your husband is disabled, you need to apply as soon as possible, because it does take awhile. One thing I wanted to mention is that my daughter also applied for benefits for her son, and he also gets social security now because he is the child of a disabled parent. So when he gets approved, apply for the kids too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

What a terrifying situation! I agree with Molly that one of your first stops should be the hospital social services...they often can help with such things as getting you through the Medicaid hoops, or offer some type of payment plan/assistance that, even if you don't see how you can make it, can at least get your husband seeing the necessary caregiver. I also agree with your family that Social Security Disability is something you should absolutely apply for, since he has been diagnosed as disabled. The problem with that is that it can be a long road to get approved, though it is certainly worth it once you have.

Ask your hospital what types of other assistance may be available. You may also find some type of low income medical clinic nearby that may have some ideas for you as well.

If you have to, go back to the Medicaid office, and ask very politely and calmly to speak with someone who has the authority to look at your situation. The problem with most of these services is that often the front line workers are paid very little, work with far too high a caseload, and have no real power to make a professional judgement. You don't want to insult anyone or get confrontational--even though it is understandable that you might feel frustrated and desperate, don't let that out with the worker--you just want to ask if there is any room for professional judgement on a situation that has become untenable for you.

I'm so sorry this kind of thing happens in this country. I'm hoping to see it change soon. In the meantime, if you have to put your child in Safe Key--I assume it's a free or low cost program--then do it for now. You can change that when he goes to kindergarten in a few weeks.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Keeping you and your family in prayer. I am not too familiar with state assistance so unfortunately all I can offer you is my prayers and good wishes for you and your family.



2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You've already swallowed your pride, which is the hardest part. Now go to your local Transitional Assistance Department and talk with an eligibility worker about programs that may be of assistance to your family. There are a ton of programs out there and the workers are trained to help you find one that meets your needs. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Don't have time to read all answers - sorry. Pls talk to doc about applying for disability which would qualify hubby for medicare = healthcare and maybe also SSI. Then ask for social worker referral to help with finances and working through childcare issues. Also, ask about whether hubby will be "homebound" and can qualify for home health nurse to help w/ health maintenance.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, he should get on Social Security Disability ASAP! It takes a LONG time to kick in, so start the process NOW!

Find out if you qualify for subsidized preschool or childcare services. Enlist friends & family. Don't dump on one. Ask one friend or family member if they would mind helping out once a week. And then so on. Until you've filled your calendar.

If it makes you feel any better, my brother (now 47) had congestive heart failure two years ago and was diagnosed as diabetic at the time. He has gotten over the congestive heart problem & is managing the diabetes just fine. His heart was also functioning poorly. He ended up having an ICD put in and is doing great now! So, there is hope, it will just be a long path :)

God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Social Security is the way to go if you want Medicaid. I know in Tx that as an adult, you HAVE to be declared disabled by SSA to be able to get disability. At the very least, he could probably get SSI and if he's got enough credits into social security than he can get that....he wouldn't get Medicare for 2 years after the diagnosis date, but could probably get Medicaid to cover that gap and even get Medicaid to pay for his Medicare premiums when the time comes. I know that you can have your case expidited at SSA for dire need....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Hello, I don't know if there is a County Medical Services in Las Vegas or not. I know that here in San Diego County there is a program called C.M.S. which helps people who have serious illnesses and have not insurance and can't qualify for Medcal. I think your husband needs to apply for S.S.I. if he is medically disabled. Good luck and make sure that you keep applying. They may turn you down the first one or two times.On the Congestive Heart Failure, I also suffer from it. Sadly, I lost my husband in March and therefore was very worried about my health insurance. I was able to continue it with COBRA at a cost of $367.00 a month. I am on a fixed income and this was going to be very hard financially. Fortunately, my son and his family moved in with me to share expenses and I will be able to pay for my medical as well as my medicine.
I don't want you to think that having Congestive Heart Failure is a death sentence. I have actually been able to increase my heart function. I have to eat things which are low sodium, low cholesterol, low fat (especially saturated fat) and low calorie. It is a job to learn, but once you have learned to read the nutrition labels it is not that hard. I have found many things which I can eat which are good in those numbers. I also walk everyday and have started working out with 3 lb. weights. He can live a better life and increase his chances of living a long time.
Good luck with your precious family.
K. K.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

R., I am so sorry to hear about the situation you are in. I can really sympathize with you, as recently my 4-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type I diabetes. Boy, did I learn a lot about the health care system, the hospital, insurance... Our country and the way they take care of their sick SUCKS!!! Just not right.
Anyway, we are in a bad place right now financially. We do pay our own health insurance, about $400 a month, which still doesn't really cover her med bills. We would still owe about 10,000 for hospital stay and docs. Not to mention now the monthly cost of her meds.
I asked a social worker at the hospital for some help. They did pretty much nothing but gave me some websites to check. So once I got back home with her, I went to the Medi-Cal/Medicare offices. I really didn't know what all they offered, but I applied for ANYTHING that I could to help my family. A very long story short, we are now on food stamps -- yes, you have to swallow your pride. Never had to have assistance in my life. And I have Medi-Cal to help cover the costs where our Blue Shield doesn't. When I have the time to go sit there, I WILL go and apply for social security for her. If I were you, apply for everything and anything. And if one tells you no, ask for a supervisor. They either know more or can push things through more quickly.
I have three small children as well (7, 5 and 3).
Sounds like once your one child starts kinder, you have the pre-K child to worry about at home with him. Do you live close to family or have close friends that can care for that child until you get home?
Good luck and hang in there. I'm sure it's not easy getting through each day and you having to deal with this on your own.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on


Wow, I am so sorry to hear what you and your family are going through! My suggestion would be to go to the hospital and talk to their social services dept. Tell them what you are going through and ask them how they can help you-- Sometimes to receive care, you need to fill out a financial assistance form and based on your income, they may waive the whole hospital fees and care that your husband will need. Kaiser has a plan for kids that is very good- and very affordable. I would check into that for them or Healthy Families for kids- good luck and remember to breath through all of this.

Take care,


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chico on

I would advise on going to Social Security as well, especially if your husband has a solid work history, because the approval process for Social Security Disability is up to 6 months' wait.

Also, Medi-Cal (which is California's Medicaid program) has share of cost programs if your income exceeds what is allowed. Be sure you tell them you want to apply for it. Sometimes the eligibility workers do not know everything that they should. If they tell you no, ask to see a supervisor about it. I assume that share of cost aid is an element of all Medicaid programs. I applied with my mom for assistance and she was refused, but then when we had an emergency and applied again (several months later) they approved it on a disability and with a share of cost (also called a spend down obligation). It took a long time (almost 10 months).

Ask your friends for help watching the kids! Maybe you can trade babysitting hours if you feel bad about just asking. I think, though, that your friends will understand and step in and help you.

Take care of yourself through all of this too! Best wishes.



answers from Tulsa on

You need to have a sit down with a state worker at your local office and get the facts. I had to do that because I could not understand why we didn't qualify for food stamps. There is a lot of red tape they have to work through and it more complicated than not. the supervisors supervisor actually talked like a real person and I finally was able to understand the math behind their answer.

He needs to apply for disability asap, that way he can get his Medicare and have steady income coming in. It takes time to get everything in and for them to admit he is disabled. . Even if he is not working you should qualify for child care assistance because his doc can say he is not physically able to care for them while alone. It is going to take time, your preschooler could qualify for WIC, which provides milk, cheese, bread, cereal, etc...for children up to age 5. You should qualify for food stamps until there is a steady income and maybe even after. We make too much money to get food stamps, with child support from the grandkids dads we don't qualify. You need to apply for a medical card for the kids too, they should be able to qualify easily. With his income gone you might qualify for free lunches. There are many programs out there for people like us who were making it and then everything suddenly went kaput. My husband had open heart surgery 5 years ago this week. He was at work on Thursday, had a cardiologist appointment on Friday morning, was life flighted to OKC and had surgery that night. He had 100% blockages between some of his aneurysms. The other veins and arteries were clogged between 60% and 95%. His heart was in bad shape. The surgery took hours and I worried the whole time. It was such a shock.

I hope things go smoother for you now that your husband is getting good medical care that is focused on getting him better. I have been there and know how hard this period of your life is. Please know I am thinking of you and your children.

Another thought, your children might be wanting to do sports or dance classes or any number of things. I can honestly tell you we have only paid for one season of soccer in 3 years, we qualified for full scholarships every time and just decided to pay outright for that one time because we had been blessed with some extra funds. I think it is good for the kids to have as much normal stuff to do as possible.


answers from Chicago on

File for Social Security Disability thru the hospital's office. It'll take up to 6 months to get approved but they'll back pay from when the application was filed. If he's still in the hospital it'll be easier because his doctor needs to sign it and when you're there you could make sure the application gets completed in full and signed. I believe it goes to your state's capital for approval. You have to be on top of this and be calling the case worker regularly. If he gets SS disability (he'll get Medicare) and he can also get additional money for each of his children after he's approved. Do not delay. Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions