Family Assisted in Overcoming Barriers
When Matthew and his family came to the Grand Island CNCAP office to request assistance, his story was unique in and of itself, but in many ways was like so many that are seen, hitting barrier after barrier with no idea where to turn. Matthew was a single parent raising 2 high school boys and working full-time. They lived in a safe, suitable home when Matthew fell down the stairs, becoming permanently disabled and ultimately wheel chair bound, no longer able to work and support himself and his 2 sons. With no money coming in due to Matthew's disability, he ultimately received an eviction notice for past due rent from his home that he and his boys had lived in for the past 3 years.
Matthew began working towards getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but as with most things this was going to take time and applying for SSDI was a very difficult task. Matthew heard about CNCAP and the programs we offered, and contacted a case manager to see if he would qualify for any assistance.
Once the case manager heard Matthew's story, she knew the family was desperate and needed help. The first step was to refer Matthew to the SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) program. SOAR offers assistance to participants in navigating the Social Security system and assistance in receiving benefits they are qualified for. In addition, Matthew was entered into the HART (Homes, Advocacy and Referrals for Totality) program to assist with his past due rent, helping him and his family to avoid being evicted. The case manager also worked with Matthew and his landlord to get some needed repairs done to the home to better assist with his current needs. The case manager also referred Matthew to the LIHEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) through DHHS to assist with utility assistance. She was also able to get a ramp installed to increase Matthew's mobility so he could attend his medical appointments and physical therapy, something he hadn't been able to do due to his limited access.
Through the SOAR program, assistance was provided in obtaining disability benefits for Matthew, along with back pay for the months since his accident. Matthew worked with the case manager to set a budget, which included paying for 6 months of rent in advance to avoid crisis in the future, setting long-term goals for himself and his family, and ultimately maintaining self-sufficiency.