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Arizona Parole, Probation, Work Release & Community Service All information relating to parole, probation, work release and community service in the State of Arizona.

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Old 07-23-2017, 07:49 AM
Shunka Shunka is offline
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Default Illness, poverty, no health insurance --> prison?

As I may have mentioned before my friend got released from prison in South Dakota and started his parole time in Arizona.

Then he had to start paying parole fees, restitution fees as a result of his escape and child support because his children had to grow up without him. Altogether this was an enormous sum each month: $75.00 a month for restitution fees. $65.00 parole fees. $485 child support payments $300.00 rent. $100.00 utilites and money to pay for food. He still has to pay all of this apart from child support (see below).

He tried to find work after release but no chance. He lives in a small town and is restricted to living in that town as a parole condition. There is no public transportation and he has no car and is not allowed to get a driving license or tattooing license or any other kind of license before child support is paid completely. Finding a job within the small town did not work, not even day labor, and most people aren't willing to give work to ex-convicts anyway and he does not have the right skills or qualifications for most jobs. He is a skilled tattoo artist and a producer of Native American artwork but would need money for art materials which he can't afford because of the high payments he has to do each month and apart from that the owners of tattoo shops in his town don't want to work with Natives. Somehow we got it managed to pay his child support so from next month on he could get a license but this won't help because he has other problems that I will explain now:


All the years of living under harsh prison conditions had a bad effect on his health. Among his problems are high blood pressure, overweight and a lack of vitamin B12 as a result of bad nutrition, ADHD (which he already had before prison), PTSD and severe depression, asthma, allergies and hay fever which sometimes causes vomiting and even to faint. For all these problems he needs medication regularly and he is also obliged to see a psychiatrist regularly as a parole condition.


More than that as a result of an old, untreated injury and bad living conditions he has a permanent damage in his spine and arthritis for which he also needs medicine (pain killers) and see the doctor and get physical therapy.


The doctor told him he should not work because of this back problem and it could get worse if he does. He applied for social security money for disabled after release but it takes more than six months until they decide about it and this time is not over yet (he has been out for about 5 months) and even if so it would not be enough to cover all the things he has to pay. Therefore he is - at least in theory - forced to work.

However, the situation became worse after the first months: The organization that paid his medical costs at the beginning refuses now to go on doing it because they say he is on parole and therefore the prison system is responsible for paying his medical costs and no one else. But South Dakota prison refuses to pay the costs by saying he is in Arizona now and Arizona refuses by saying he is a South Dakota inmate! So no one feels responsible!


They told him it will take about 2 or 3 months from now on until they get it managed that someone gives him health insurance and when this starts this will just cover new bills, not the old bills that came within that time. I think this can't be legal but I don't know what to do!!!


He had a heart attack recently as a result of his bad health, bad nutrition and the enormous stress he is facing. He got a 300 dollar bill for a heart monitor but can't pay it and he also had and has to cover several other medical bills since his health insurance stopped. This also includes heart medicine for about 200 dollar. He needs a specific medical examination for his heart but can't afford it.


And to make things worse: A ligament in his left arm torn apart some days ago (just a few days after the heart attack) and it turned out that the ligament in his right arm is also partly torn and will tear completely soon. Those injuries are also a result from how he was treated during prison time by the correctional officers (handcuffing behind his back again and again for hours and rough treatment while being handcuffed). He had fellt pain in his arms for years but he didn't have to use his arms much in prison. Therefore it didn't tear completely earlier and he didn't get the diagnosis earlier.


He has now a 1000 dollar bill for a MRI that he had for his arms and can't pay it and he needs a surgery in both arms but can't afford it. If he waits with it too long he'll stay disabled in his arms permanently! And if he gets no heart treatment anymore he may even die of a heart attack! And if he gets the surgery he will be completely unable to work for the next months but if he doesn't get the surgery he practically also is unable to work. Even more because he is just skilled for physical work. He gets pain killers for his arms but that's no permanent solution.


Things would be different if he were not on parole anymore but to get completely free he would have to pay the rest of his restitution fees completely, that's 2700 dollar! And it's not even sure yet if they would be willing to get him off parole than.


In fact he is not even allowed to make debts. Each month he had and has to pay all his costs because otherwise they would send him back to prison to a 7-month work program to work for paying his bills although he is too ill and too disabled to work, especially to work in such a way. Therefore this wouldn't make sense.


And if he gets in trouble during that work program (for example by getting attacked again) he would loose his parole permanently and would have to spend the next 13 years in prison. He already had 20 years in prison and this almost killed him and therefore going back to prison is really no option for him, especially not in his state of health. So what can we do? The system lets him down and he doesn't know what to do!

It is unusual that someone gets transferred from SD to AZ for parole and it seems like the system to handle this is lacking. But that's not his fault! So what can be done that he gets at least health cost coverage back immediately and also payment for the bills he already has? And what can be done that he doesn't have to go on paying rent and other things while he isn't able to earn money? It's not fair if he gets sent back to prison just because he is poor, disabled and ill although prison has caused his illness and disability!

Last edited by Shunka; 07-23-2017 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:21 PM
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I don't know all of the parameters for denial, but I'm not sure why he wouldn't qualify for AHCCS or why his PO (or any of his healthcare providers) didn't suggest it. It's the state-funded health insurance in Arizona.

Arizona AHCCS

Yes, disability can be difficult and take time to get. There's not too many ways around that. Sometimes legal aide in his area (though you said he's in a small community) can help with that. Can you share the county he's in so we can better direct you toward resources?
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:59 PM
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As I may have mentioned before my friend got released from prison in South Dakota and started his parole time in Arizona.
Was this a transfer under Compact or is this time on parole that was owed to AZ at the expiry of the sentence in SD?

Quote:
He tried to find work after release but no chance. He lives in a small town and is restricted to living in that town as a parole condition. There is no public transportation and he has no car and is not allowed to get a driving license or tattooing license or any other kind of license before child support is paid completely. Finding a job within the small town did not work, not even day labor, and most people aren't willing to give work to ex-convicts anyway and he does not have the right skills or qualifications for most jobs. He is a skilled tattoo artist and a producer of Native American artwork but would need money for art materials which he can't afford because of the high payments he has to do each month and apart from that the owners of tattoo shops in his town don't want to work with Natives. Somehow we got it managed to pay his child support so from next month on he could get a license but this won't help because he has other problems that I will explain now:
1) Where there exists a legitimate basis to change County of Residence, most agencies have a provision by which that change may be sought and approved. When I worked with TDCJ, I saw MANY CORE's every single week. They were very much a rubber stamp approval.

2) If his license is suspended due to back support, he would likely need to make arrangements to begin making steps to become current and then they can grant an occupational license. I see this all the time with toll violators and those with back child support amounts that total in the tens of thousands of dollars. If they fail to abide by the agreement, then the license will again be suspended...


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However, the situation became worse after the first months: The organization that paid his medical costs at the beginning refuses now to go on doing it because they say he is on parole and therefore the prison system is responsible for paying his medical costs and no one else. But South Dakota prison refuses to pay the costs by saying he is in Arizona now and Arizona refuses by saying he is a South Dakota inmate! So no one feels responsible!
Releasees are generally responsible for their own medical post-release. The State does not continue to provide care once they are out of the secured environment. I have no idea what 'organization' was involved, but it may well be that they only deal with the recently released, which is NOT unreasonable.

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They told him it will take about 2 or 3 months from now on until they get it managed that someone gives him health insurance and when this starts this will just cover new bills, not the old bills that came within that time. I think this can't be legal but I don't know what to do!!!
Why should new insurance be responsible for prior costs that were incurred? It doesn't work that way. Did not work that way pre-Obummercare and damned sure did not work that way afterwards. He needs to get with the provider and see what sort of indigency writedowns they offer.


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Things would be different if he were not on parole anymore but to get completely free he would have to pay the rest of his restitution fees completely, that's 2700 dollar! And it's not even sure yet if they would be willing to get him off parole than.
Somehow, the cynic in me believes that there would be some other tale of woe.


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In fact he is not even allowed to make debts. Each month he had and has to pay all his costs because otherwise they would send him back to prison to a 7-month work program to work for paying his bills although he is too ill and too disabled to work, especially to work in such a way. Therefore this wouldn't make sense.


And if he gets in trouble during that work program (for example by getting attacked again) he would loose his parole permanently and would have to spend the next 13 years in prison. He already had 20 years in prison and this almost killed him and therefore going back to prison is really no option for him, especially not in his state of health. So what can we do? The system lets him down and he doesn't know what to do!
Unlikely on several counts, not the least of which is that inability to pay is an affirmative defense that can be raised in a revocation hearing. Due process exists before one can be revoked. It would be up to him to prove the inability to pay.

While I have no doubt that he has some difficulties, it is nowhere near as dire as he is leading you to believe...it just isn't.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by CenTexLyn View Post
Releasees are generally responsible for their own medical post-release. The State does not continue to provide care once they are out of the secured environment. I have no idea what 'organization' was involved, but it may well be that they only deal with the recently released, which is NOT unreasonable.

Why should new insurance be responsible for prior costs that were incurred? It doesn't work that way. Did not work that way pre-Obummercare and damned sure did not work that way afterwards. He needs to get with the provider and see what sort of indigency writedowns they offer.
Agreed, not sure why anyone would be able to have their medical covered by a supervising agency as that isn't their role.

However, in AZ at least, if you apply and qualify for AHCCS, they will retroactively cover eligible services for 60 days prior to application. The reason is because people who don't have coverage and may think they don't need it often find they, in fact, cannot afford to pay when they seek services. This allows them to still be treated and for the insurance, if approved, to cover it.
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:59 AM
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Was this a transfer under Compact or is this time on parole that was owed to AZ at the expiry of the sentence in SD?
I don't understand what that means or what's the difference. However, what I can tell is that Arizona has agreed to take him and so after his release he had four days to get to Arizona and beforehand he had to pay a fee so that he can be sent back to South Dakota in case that he fails on parole or escapes.

So he went to Arizona (Yavapai County), became a resident, has his parole officer and case manager there and everything.

The main reason why he is so poor is because his mother stole enormous sums of money from him (about 22000 dollar in total). Money that was meant for raising his children and also for his life after prison and she got a 5 yr restraining order against him so he can't contact her anymore and other people stole from him as well. But that's another story.

However, at first he was in a program that covered his bills, did so for the first three or four months after parole. But then they suddenly and unexpectedly kicked him out by saying he is not a free man, he is a parolee and so he can not use the programs that other people use but the prison system is responsible for paying his medical bills because he is still a prisoner so to speak although on parole.

It does not happen often that someone starts parole so far away from the place where he had been in prison and so they were not prepared for that and had not planed things properly. Arizona somehow thought that the prison of South Dakota is still responsible for his medical costs although they would just pay if he were there and would go to the prison doctor.

So he somehow convinced Arizona prison system that they need to go on covering his medical expenses because no one else would as long as he is on parole but they said it would take two or three months until they get that managed and he doesn't have that time.

It's also not clear yet if he would be allowed to go to Phoenix free clinic for getting treatment because usually he has to be at home over night and has to go on living in his town.

I wish I could phone around a bit to figure things out but I live outside the USA and therefore it would be too expensive for me and his parole officer wouldn't talk with me about his case anyway. I told him he needs to fight for his rights and talk with all again but he is pessimistic and not a very talkative person and so I'm afraid it will all fail just because no one wants to help him. Now the end of the month is coming and he has not even money for his rent and the next rate of restitution fees.

Quote:
Unlikely on several counts, not the least of which is that inability to pay is an affirmative defense that can be raised in a revocation hearing. Due process exists before one can be revoked. It would be up to him to prove the inability to pay.

While I have no doubt that he has some difficulties, it is nowhere near as dire as he is leading you to believe...it just isn't.
I know his financial situation very well, therefore I know that he definitely isn't able to pay the medical costs and that it would be no problem for him to prove this. He has been unemployed since release, he has no bank account (would need a 1000 dollar deposit to get one) and even if he had a job he would not be able to cover all the costs for his various diseases and doctor visits and MRI and so on - not to mention the surgery that he needs urgently!

However, by all what you wrote I start to believe that he got wrong information by many people and therefore thinks to be in a situation with no solution.And his case manager also doesn't care about anything. So is there any chance for him to find someone who can give him judicial advice directly? A lawyer or Social Worker who could support him in getting things organized for himself so that he doesn't end up in traps all the time? Do you know a contact phone number or anything?

Btw: He told me recently that his disability social money got denied. However, I think they may have decided differently if he had sent in the MRI-results that he got later for his back and also information about the new problem, the one with his heart I mean. So could he make a second attempt maybe?

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Old 07-25-2017, 06:03 AM
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he has no bank account (would need a 1000 dollar deposit to get one)
That's not true. He could open a checking or savings account with just a few bucks, very few.

Health insurance through ObamaCare while on parole is not only possible, the prisons here help the inmates apply for it before they're released on parole. My Mr has gotten it when released on parole. Food stamps too. They were a great help until he started back to work.

Disability is often denied the first time. However, there are attorneys that specialize in appealing the denial with no upfront costs. Because disability is paid from the time applied for, there is usually a big payoff if/when it is approved - that's where the attorney gets his fee, from a percent of the backpay.

I think he's feeding you a line, on a lot of topics discussed above. Please tell me you aren't sending him money
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:38 AM
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Thank you for your help. However, it would be more helpful if you would stop thinking that he is telling me lies but rather see it that way that he just doesn't know better!

It's not in his interest not to have a bank account! For someone in his situation it would be important to have one. But the banks he asked declined. So if you have a tip for him at which bank or in which way he could open a bank account without having costs for doing so or for running it, please let me know!

Same with the other things. I think about some things he got wrong information and there may also be some misunderstandings. That's why I said he needs someone who can lead him the way, who can help him to find ways to get assistance with rent and medical costs and so on.

And the disability thing: Yes, he could make a second attempt but he has no clue about these things. How long would it take? Where can he find such an attorney that would help him for free? Which documents would he need to hand in? And if it gets approved, how much money would he get and would he be allowed to work a bit in addition if the money is not enough?

Please keep in mind my friend has been in prison for 20 years and now lives in a small village with no public transport and a sister who doesn't like him and just wants his money for rent and doesn't help him, a parole officer who is friendly but basically also just wants his money and a case manager who is also not willing to help him in any way. And often my friend does not even have access to a computer and / or internet and he gives me information second hand and through a language barrier and not always clear.

All he knows for now is that all want money from him but no one is supporting him anymore while his health gets worse and worse. So please instead of judging over him lead me to people who will assist him because he is completely overwhelmed and overchallenged right now!
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:51 AM
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Tell him to try a credit union...My Mr opened an account with a few bucks and there is no fee. I'm not sure what credit unions operate in Arizona.

Here is the link to the .gov page on SS disability to help answer all those questions:

https://www.ssa.gov/disability/

As for an attorney that specializes in SS denial, they advertise on TV like crazy, internet (just do a search for his area), their phone book listing will state that they specialize in SS denials etc
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:23 PM
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Thank you for your help. However, it would be more helpful if you would stop thinking that he is telling me lies but rather see it that way that he just doesn't know better!
[...]
Same with the other things. I think about some things he got wrong information and there may also be some misunderstandings. That's why I said he needs someone who can lead him the way, who can help him to find ways to get assistance with rent and medical costs and so on.

And the disability thing: Yes, he could make a second attempt but he has no clue about these things. How long would it take? Where can he find such an attorney that would help him for free? Which documents would he need to hand in? And if it gets approved, how much money would he get and would he be allowed to work a bit in addition if the money is not enough?
[...]
All he knows for now is that all want money from him but no one is supporting him anymore while his health gets worse and worse. So please instead of judging over him lead me to people who will assist him because he is completely overwhelmed and overchallenged right now!
Did you read my post? Just curious. I feel like I answered your questions already:
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I don't know all of the parameters for denial, but I'm not sure why he wouldn't qualify for AHCCS or why his PO (or any of his healthcare providers) didn't suggest it. It's the state-funded health insurance in Arizona.

Arizona AHCCS

Yes, disability can be difficult and take time to get. There's not too many ways around that. Sometimes legal aide in his area (though you said he's in a small community) can help with that. Can you share the county he's in so we can better direct you toward resources?
Here is the link to Yavapai County Health Department and what they can do to help:
Health Care

Honestly, I'm with Patch. Either there are things that are being grossly misunderstood or he's not being honest with you. It's really not that difficult, even in a small town, even without a car or computer, to apply for state health insurance. Every hospital can help him get the forms. They want paid, so it's in their best interest to set him up. I live in a small town in AZ, so please don't think I'm assuming things.

If legal aid isn't an option, he can still get an attorney. The way it works is they agree to take the case based on their ability to determine the odds of approval. In other words-- if he's got zero shot at getting approved, they won't take him. If they believe they can get him approved, they take his case and when he is awarded disability, he will get back pay from the date of application. The attorney will take a percentage of that back pay for their fee.

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Old 07-25-2017, 12:28 PM
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I have forwarded to him all the information that all of you wrote.

Maybe you are right that he had a health insurance thing that was just meant for the first months but then they should have told him this so that he could have applied for a proceeding health insurance soon enough so that he doesn't get into a gap with no health costs covered. I will see how he reacts to the information I forwarded him. Maybe someone is playing games with him. He is not cheating. He even has shown me the problems in his arms for which he needs the surgery and if he could get it right away he would do it!
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Old 07-25-2017, 02:16 PM
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Okay, I have talked with him again... and he has explained it to me properly now.

He said:

He is not allowed to get AHCCS because he does not count as an Arizona resident because he is new to Arizona which means he hasn't been living there for a full year yet. But he also doesn't qualify for medicare from South Dakota because he has left South Dakota. If he had received Medicare before leaving South Dakota he would have went on receiving it while being in Arizona for that first year but he didn't receive Medicare beforehand because he was in prison beforehand and he had to leave South Dakotas immediately after release. He also said if he were not on parole anymore this wouldn't matter anymore and he would get AHCCS. I don't understand exactly why, but that's it.

And he also said ObamaCare doesn't work at all. And also that they would still see it as a violation of parole if he doesn't pay rent or fees although he can prove he is unable to pay. They just do what they want.

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Old 07-25-2017, 02:27 PM
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He said:

He is not allowed to get AHCCS because he does not count as an Arizona resident because he is new to Arizona which means he hasn't been living there for a full year yet. But he also doesn't qualify for medicare from South Dakota because he has left South Dakota. If he had received Medicare before leaving South Dakota he would have went on receiving it while being in Arizona for that first year but he didn't receive Medicare beforehand because he was in prison beforehand and he had to leave South Dakotas immediately after release. He also said if he were not on parole anymore this wouldn't matter anymore and he would get AHCCS. I don't understand exactly why, but that's it.
The application asks if you are an AZ resident (that means you have a mailing address and AZ identification). It also asks if you have moved here in the last four months or if you've been released from a prison/jail/detention center in the last four months. It does not say anything about a one year residency requirement.

AHCCS is not Medicare. AHCCS is Medicaid. Medicare is the insurance you recieve when you qualify for disability and is a federal program. Medicaid is based on need and is managed at the state level.

You can see the questions he'd be asked by looking at "Application for Benefits" on this page.
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:43 PM
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You said he's Native American right?? He doesn't need the health insurance then he can just go to IHS - Indian Health Services, they have them in bigger cities and also on different reservations he doesn't have to belong to that reservations tribe bc it's a federal service he just has to have his proof that he's Native American which people have in different ways and it's free treatment well most and what isn't is way discounted for example glasses are not fully free vutbway discounted but going to the er is free and they can get a Dr there who will refer them for testing and to specialists and for meds which are free all they have to do is bring in their tribal Id from his tribe or his CIB he'll know what that is or something again showing he's tribal. Phoenix has a lot among other places he can look it up online you can IHS facilities in AZ if he's Native American and problem solved for medical - he can get permission to go further for a Dr Appt if he knows ahead of time from his parole officer. Hope this helps...
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Old 07-25-2017, 04:57 PM
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Forgot to mention he can also do mental health counseling and get meds if needed for anything related to that through a reservation counseling dept for free doesn't have to be his tribe just bring proof of being Native American so he can get help for the ptsd and depression. - reservations and IHS have a lot to offer and at no cost and they are seperateone is federal one is tribal but both help no matter what tribe you are from....
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:07 PM
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He could get medical treatment in Phoenix but that's a very long and therefore expensive drive to get there so he couldn't do it regularly and I don't know yet if his parole officer would allow him a longer stay there at the hospital for example.

That he could also get help at the Native reservations is interesting because they are not as far away as Phoenix. But they are just small communities, small villages. And yes, glasses are also a problem cause he has lost his recently and would need it to pass driving test.

I will forward him your information, thank you!
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:29 PM
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If he's Native and in Yavapai Co., there are two health service clinics very close. Their site is here.




Sometimes people don't want the help that's right in front of them. I can't explain it, but I've seen it enough to know that for some folks, this is all just a bother and they'd rather let the consequences of inaction be their guide.

I don't know if that's the case here, but he sure has a long list of reasons he can't get help. Most of which aren't solid. :/
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:21 PM
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Anything he needs done on a computer can be done at his local public library - for free. If he doesn't know how to use a computer, they'll help him. Many libraries also offer free basic computer classes and have public access computers available for use, again - Free.
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Last edited by patchouli; 07-25-2017 at 07:08 PM.. Reason: added word
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:28 PM
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Most if not all reservations have transport services for medical appts when people have to go further they will drive you to and from so it's no cost to him he should no this if he's older And Native bc he would have made some use of services somewhere or have had family or friends that did so I too worry that he's providing you w a long list of reasons of can'ts bc I'm sorry but if Native American he has accesss to so much at no cost and he would know this and it would be the same in any state in the country so it makes me wonder so just be careful but all the same good luck... and FYI even the smallest poorest areas have services... I know I have worked w reservations a lot...
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:13 PM
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Sadly, the victim class likes to remain the victim class by ignoring every effort to help them help themselves. We are seeing that play out again in this thread...

The issue with the bank clearly isn't an inability to open an account but rather that he wants it for free. Well. why should he get something for free that others do not? Plenty of people open accounts with less than the amount to be fee-free. Even some credit unions will have balance requirements to be fee-free, although the fees will typically be less than a bank.

If he can be disciplined with the withdrawals, a savings account actually becomes a better option in all likelihood...they often allow a few withdrawals per month without adding extra fees.

But too much of this comes across as a hand out wanting something put IN that hand...he CHOSE to seek to transfer the supervision to Arizona. That means he told authorities that he had assistance available to him. He should use those resources.
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