Theodora Harris called 12 On Your Side, fearing she and her 84-year-old mother, Celestine Turner, will be evicted from their Richmond apartment on Friday.
Harris says their Medicaid payments suddenly got cut off for the past month, leaving her with no money to support herself, her mother, or pay rent.
Harris became her mother's sole caretaker after Turner suffered a stroke. Harris is paid $9 an hour through Turner’s Medicaid program, run through Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services and PCG Public Partnerships.
A court summons is now directing the mother and daughter to appear for eviction proceedings before a judge. Harris says she is owed more than $2,000 in payments and had no money to pay rent. She’s now accruing late fees.
"It's just hard… I just keep praying and standing in the midst of the storm,” said Harris of the stressful situation.
Harris says state reps with the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services told her that her mother's Medicaid benefits had lapsed, which Harris insisted was not accurate. However, after weeks of calling and sifting through paperwork, Harris still hadn’t made any headway with the agency.
"They keep giving me these bogus tales of, 'We are going to pay you. Just give us three working days. It's going to pop up showing that is has been processed,” described Harris.
Harris said Department of Medical Assistance Services representatives ultimately told her that her mother's Medicaid lapsed, which Harris said was completely inaccurate.
"It's so rough. I've been breaking down crying. My mama…she’d cry,” continued Harris.
NBC12 called the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. A spokesperson promptly began working on the case. Harris says she got a call within two hours from a representative, apologizing for the mix-up and reissuing the checks.
"We highly value the work provided by our attendant caregivers," said Craig Markva, Director of Communications for the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services in an email to NBC12. "Attendant caregivers play a critical role in an individual’s ability to remain in their home and maintain independence. Once we were alerted to the facts of this case, we corrected the situation and arrangement for payment to Ms. Harris for her services have been made."
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