Target 11 Investigation: Health care workers still haven't been paid



PITTSBURGH - Thousands of home health care workers haven't been paid for up to six weeks worth of work, and now some of them are leaving their jobs. Target 11's Robin Taylor has been following this story, and she has more on why they haven't been paid.

When I covered this story last week, there were promises that everything would be fixed by now, but the problems still haven't been resolved.

That's putting a real strain not only on the caregivers, but also on the disabled people they care for.

"I can't survive without my attendants. They do everything for me," said Pat Cavender.

Cavender has a neuromuscular disease called progressive muscular atrophy that is similar to Lou Gehrig's disease. She relies on her home health care attendants to do everything for her, but it's going on seven weeks since their last paycheck.

"I'm completely, severely disabled. And now if my attendants walked away from me, I would really be in bad shape," said Cavender.

Cavender can't even lift her arms or move her legs. The attendants make it possible for her to live at home and not in a nursing home. The money they make is paid by the state.

Last month, the agency that processes their checks changed from CRI to Christian Financial Management, and that's when the problems began.

"I don't think it's solely Christian Financial. I'm upset with the state," said Cavender.

Christian Financial was overwhelmed with paperwork, so the welfare department sent in workers to help process the payroll, and they promised paychecks would go out last week.

But many health care workers like Carrie Legzdin still haven't been paid.

"Are you worried about being evicted?" I asked.

"I am. I am. I've been there for five years, and I've never had a problem," said Legzdin.

Legzdin has been working with Cavender for two years and says she can't leave her, but she also can't keep working without a paycheck for much longer.

"She feels good with the help she has now, so why go and find another job and go and leave her? She'll just go downhill, maybe die if we leave her. You can't leave somebody like that," said Legzdin.

The state suggests that anyone who hasn't been paid fill out a form and mail it or email it to Christian Financial Management.

The company has processed some checks, yet I continue to hear from people who haven't been paid.