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I Can’t Afford to Eat or Take My Medications. What Am I Going to Do? – Mickey


“Dear Steve,

I am 61yrs old, have been on disability since 1995. I am on Medicare, Part D plan but I was denied supplemental insurance because it took SS 2yrs to approve my disability and I was told I had to apply within 6 months of applying for disability. SS told me there was no plan in place to address the time problem for disibility applications and the supplemental 6 month window. I can’t go onto SS until am 67 and the the supplemental window will open again but I will not be able to afford it. My total monthly income is $1487.00 and I have $52,000.00 in credit card debt. I have used all my savings and the money from the sale of my house on medical bills and out of pocket drugs. I am currently trying to find government assisted housing but, the wait is over 2 yrs. My income covers the Medicare Part D premium but, not the 40% copay or the Medicare 20% copay. At this point I am having to go off most of my medications and visits to the doctor to be able to buy food. I have applied for help with food and drugs but, have been told my income is to high. I am getting very close to being homeless and am desperate for help.

I stopped paying on my $52,000.00 in credit card debt a year ago. I have not spoken to any of the credit card companies or the collection companies they turned them over to because I put an unidentifying recording on my phone and only answer to people I know. I want to know if there is any way to elimiate these debts. Bankruptcy is not an answer because while housing assistance will accept you with debt they will not accept someone that has filed bankruptcy. Any help you can give me to eliminate these debts and clean up my credit would be really appreciated. If you know where to get any other type of help with my bills and drugs please let me know.

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Thank you,


Dear Mickey,

For those that don’t know, Medicare Part D is the Medicare private drug plan.

The good thing about Medicare and Social Security is that they both have a clearly documented appeals process if you are not satisfied with the response you have been given.

The Medicare Rights Center publishes the Medicare Part D Appeals: An advocate’s manual to navigating the Medicare private drug plan appeals process. You should download it and read it. It provides clear steps on how to ask for a second review of your denial.

If you are not able to make ends meet and you have little income coming in, you should consider applying for food assistance, now called SNAP, or visiting your local food bank for help so you can free up some money to help pay for your needed medications.

I know that some landlords may exclude someone in an active bankruptcy or who has been bankrupt in the last year, but I am not aware of a Section 8 housing policy to specifically prohibit people that have filed bankruptcy. It is worth discussing with your local housing agency or counselor about how to overcome this problem. It is one faced by many.

Outside of going bankrupt there is no legal process to “eliminate these debts”. You can wait 7 years from the date the delinquency was first reported for it to fall off your credit report but the creditor can still chase you with collections after that time and that does not solve your problem now.

You probably qualify for free bankruptcy assistance. The American Bankruptcy Institute publishes a list of pro-bono bankruptcy providers.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


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  • Mickey-I was a medical social worker working with older adults (60+) in Ohio for over 20 years. I am offering a few more suggestions, as helping folks like you was something I did for a living. Depending on what state you live in, you might qualify for assistance programs because you are considered a “senior”, i.e., “over 60.” These types of assistance could be medical, legal, financial, housing, health care, home health care, etc. Check with your local Area on Aging (Federal regions of senior program coordination) and your local Community Action Agency. Also any local senior center might also be able to hook you up to those who know the ropes so to speak about what might be available in your state. I have never heard of a housing authority refusing to get a person who had declared bankruptcy on Section 8 or subsidized housing lists. Also, you may qualify to apply to “senior designated” housing rather than just housing for those on disability. These units are more plentiful in my state, specific to seniors, and as a senior you have protection under what is called “Adult Protective Services” through the state Department of Health and Area on Aging. As for medical care and medications, there are Public Health Clinics that provide free medical care and help with getting medications. Try to contact one and see if they can assist you. There is LOTS of help out there if you are over 60. At least in my state. Good luck and God Bless….

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