Restoring Irma’s Benefits

In late summer of 2022, Irma Sandel, a resident at Plaza Borinquen, called RSC Karina Molina in some distress. Irma had just come home from the hospital following a double leg amputation. She was upset and crying on the phone because all her benefits had been discontinued while she was in the hospital—her SNAP, SSI, and Medicaid were all cancelled.

The next day Karina immediately conducted an in-home visit with Irma. The two spoke about Irma’s health troubles which had led to the surgeries and eventual amputation. The conversation left Irma distraught so Karina provided compassion and comfort, letting her know that everything would be alright. During the home visit, Irma asked Karina if she could assist with reinstating her services. Karina leapt into action, happy to take the lead with outreach so Irma could concentrate on healing. In addition to the recent health troubles, Irma also deals with diabetes, high blood pressure, and a host of other health issues, treatment of which is dependent upon Medicaid. With her Medicaid benefits in limbo, Irma would not be able to pay for the important medications that Medicare covered.

Later that same week, with a signed consent document from Irma, Karina began to reach out to the benefit providers. She also contacted Lincoln Hospital where the surgery took place and the nursing rehab home where Irma moved after the surgery. Additionally, Karina called the Social Security Administration and the New York City Human Resources Agency. Although progress was slow, Karina’s dogged determination never flagged as she kept Irma informed and continued to meet other needs for her. Finally, in November, Karina was able to have Irma’s full benefits restored—her SNAP, SSI, and Medicaid.

Irma was so relieved and grateful for the on-site support she received enabling her services to be restored without having to leaving her home. Karina was happy to be able to help and be a part of a story with a happy ending—restoring all of Irma’s benefits.

Where Irma Sandel lives matters.

Plaza Borinquen Apartments, Bronx, New York