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Disabled Pennsylvania brothers hit by hardships

Two Pennsylvania brothers have encountered numerous difficult events recently. The brothers live together in their childhood home in eastern Pennsylvania. In addition to struggling with health issues, the brothers lost both of their parents this year.

The older brother was laid off eight years ago from his job as an egg packer and has not found work since. However, even if he did find a job now, his sore leg would make it difficult for him to work. He spent several days in the hospital this past summer because of his leg, which still hurts him. The younger brother worked as a school janitor, but had to quit when his vision started worsening. He is now legally blind.

With only the younger brother's small pension and Social Security disability benefits, the brothers are in a tight financial situation. Since neither brother has health insurance, they have large unpaid medical bills from the older brother's hospital stay this past summer.

Neighbors have tried to help these brothers by contacting county agencies that provide social services and reporting the brothers' need for assistance. Several county offices told the neighbors that the brothers must contact the agencies for help. For instance, the neighbor contacted their county's Office of Mental Health/Mental Retardation a few times and was told that their office can send information to people who need help, but cannot just sign a person up for the assistance.

As the neighbor attests, it could be very helpful for the older brother to also receive Social Security disability benefits. However, this neighbor realizes that the older brother would need help with the application. As this situation demonstrates, disability benefits can be valuable, but recipients need to seek them out. Applying for these benefits can be a challenge-so filling out an application with the help of a legal professional may make the process easier.

Source: Lancaster Online, "Two bachelor brothers face bleak times", Jeff Hawkes, Dec. 19, 2012

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