By Bob Egelko
Groto Ni, a 55-year-old unemployed janitor from Oakland, applied for Medi-Cal in January and said he spent nearly five months in pain from hepatitis, ulcers and other health problems before the state approved his application.
Frances Rivera of Visalia said her adult son also applied for Medi-Cal in January and was granted benefits in late June, more than two months after his death from a pulmonary embolism.
Their cases are part of a lawsuit filed Wednesday by legal aid groups accusing California – which extended Medi-Cal eligibility to more than 2 million low-income residents in January – of violating laws that require a decision on benefits within 45 days.
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