Caller Story – October 07, 2023

Caller Story – October 07, 2023

Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

New Brunswick:

Service Navigators cannot know the resources to help in every single circumstance right away. In complex and unique situations, they may need to research options to find the right supports for the inquirer. Taking time to research may take a little longer, but can be instrumental in helping clients get what they need even in very difficult situations.

A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a staff member at a hospital in Toronto. He was calling regarding a patient from New Brunswick who was waiting for an organ transplant. This person had temporarily relocated to Ontario until he received his organ transplant, and would need oxygen at home. The staff was inquiring who would be responsible to cover the cost for the oxygen.

The Service Navigator offered to do some research and advocacy on behalf of the patient in order to find the information requested. She contacted the New Brunswick Extra-Mural Program and the Department of Social Development. She was able to obtain the information that either Medicare or the Department of Social Development could cover the cost; however, a detailed assessment would need to be done regarding the patient and his situation. Therefore, she contacted the staff at the Toronto General Hospital and gave him this information.

The Service Navigator reflected that sometimes, especially with very specific questions, Service Navigators do not have the answers that the caller needs right away. At those times, Service Navigators need time to research, and to reach out to reliable sources

Newfoundland and Labrador:

Often callers already have the tools and resources to solve their problems, but merely need some encouragement and guidance on an issue. 211 Service Navigators help inquirers to take a step back from the problem, and see different possibilities and solutions.

A caller told a 211 Service Navigator that she had stopped work due to mental health issues and she said that she did not know what she would do for income in the near future. ‘I can’t go back to work yet, and I’m not sure what I can do,’ she told the Service Navigator.

The Service Navigator asked her to elaborate more on her situation, so that she could suggest programs to help her financial situation. The caller had been put on Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits. The Service Navigator discovered that the caller had recently encountered a physical issue which now could extend her sickness benefits. The caller said that she had her doctor’s support to send a request to EI Sickness Benefits. This could be a possible way forward for the near future.

The caller was also looking for other possible means of financial support. The Service Navigator discussed Income Support and food banks with the caller, but the caller understood that she would have to first check her status of EI Sickness Benefits and if they could be extended. The caller also agreed to a follow up call to examine other options after she contacted EI.

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