Disabled woman fights state, worries vulnerable Hoosiers could be denied benefits

For nearly 50 years, Kayla Pollaro's brain has put up fences around her life. She lives alone, can't drive, and sometimes, can't even function.

News Story (Indiana)

Jill Glavan
WTTV (Indianapolis)
April 5, 2017

Tags: Disability Rights, Health Care

Organizations mentioned/involved: Indiana Legal Services (ILS)


Doctors diagnosed Pollaro with epilepsy in 1969, when she was less than two years old. A few years ago, she moved from western New York to Indiana, seeking out a new treatment that might lessen her seizures.

Soon, though, Pollaro said it was not just her brain – but the state – blocking her way.

“I was running out of medications and I couldn’t get a doctor lined up,” Pollaro said.

That’s because the state denied her Medicaid, saying she wasn’t eligible. Pollaro had to get a lawyer through Indiana Legal Services.

Staff attorney Amy Freeland took on Pollaro’s case, and won it, but every year since then, when Pollaro has to go through a reassessment for eligibility, she’s been denied again. Each time, Freeland has had to step in and work to get her benefits reinstated.