Bay area woman demotes herself to get benefits back for disabled son, after making too much money

11:49 PM, Sep 16, 2011   |    comments
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LUTZ, Fla. - Last month, 10 News told you about a Bay area woman who was struggling to get care for her disabled son after she became ineligible for benefits when she started making too much money. We recently found out the single mother of two, Erica Robinson, had to demote herself to part-time in order to get benefits again for her son.

Robinson's 11-year-old son, Franklin Doucett, suffers from cerebral palsy and is legally blind. She says she had no choice, because there were no programs, including insurance through her employer, that covered all of Franklin's needs, which include diapers and nursing care.

Back in August, we got DCF involved, who issued transitional Medicaid.  Officials then worked with Robinson to find benefits, but because she was earning so much more, her income restricted her from many of those programs.

"We were making a decent living for me being a single parent.  And then just to go back down, I don't know what to do. I'm scared," said Robinson.

The mother said with more than half of her income cut now, she also has to move into a more affordable apartment.

State Senator Jim Norman heard about Robinson's situation and wants to try to help. Over the phone, he said the benefits programs are "not a perfect system" and added that it's "not the goal to hit the ceiling and get knocked back."

Robinson said she'll take all the help she can get.  Because she lowered her income, at least her son now has Medicaid benefits again. She had to re-apply for financial benefits and hopes to get that within the next month or so.

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