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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - At 82, she is retired and living alone in rural West Virginia.
During her working life, she lived in a much bigger city out of state. But here, she is near one of her children, with whom she is reconnecting after having lost touch.
She gets by on $737 in Social Security each month, boosted by about $160 in food stamps. It is enough to pay for her basic needs, which include utilities, household expenses and upkeep on her car.
Her health is relatively good, except for one thing. A caseworker who knows the woman said she suffers from severe hearing loss.
"She drives, but I doubt if she can hear if a horn honks or if there is a siren behind her," the caseworker said. "When I communicate with her, I have to write everything down. She cannot hear someone knocking at her door."
The caseworker said the woman is very sociable but cannot talk with friends and neighbors. She has made the comment that she'd love to listen to music again.
Medicaid does not pay for hearing aids and they are expensive. There is a program through the Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide them for needy clients.
She will qualify but must come up with a $200 application fee.
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Charleston, WV 25301