Musicians Helping Musicians

Months of hard work in physical therapy paid off, allowing Kevin Brandon (“Brandino”) to say goodbye to his wheelchair and move around on foot with the aid of a walker. “I can walk now because of Kaiser Permanente,” Brandon says.

Member-led health education committee strives to serve those in need

Known professionally as Brandino, bassist extraordinaire Kevin Brandon has enjoyed a long and varied career full of successes.

But it didn’t come easy.

Born with congenital clubfeet and a hip displacement, Brandon has used his musical successes to support those with handicaps and special needs. He has long made it a primary mission in his life to spread awareness and assist with fundraisers in order to inspire and help those in need to acquire information and access resources to improve their quality of life.

A year ago Brandon suffered serious health issues when a sudden illness struck unexpectedly, turning his world upside-down. He was rushed to the hospital by Emergency Medical Services where he spent five days in the hospital not knowing what to do or what, if any, rights he had. After spending the next two weeks in a physical therapy facility, he found himself wheelchair bound and left to fend for himself.

“I got myself home on my own dime, to avoid being violated any further in the system,” he said. “Having known information about the different agencies that handle abuse, home resources and caregivers would have helped me immensely in the first two months of my recovery.”

The ordeal taught Brandon a lot about how to navigate the complicated and often confusing health care system, and he wants to share what he has learned with others. This inspired him to lead the effort to launch a Health Committee at AFM Local 47 in order to help members in need of information, resources and advice due to health issues.

Visit Brandino online at

Following is a partial list of some of the resources offered by the California Department of Social Services:

State Disability Insurance
The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program provides short-term Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave wage replacement benefits to eligible workers who need time off work. You may be eligible for disability insurance if you are unable to work due to non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy, or childbirth. You may be eligible for paid family leave to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.

In-Home Supportive Services
The IHSS Program will help pay for services provided to you so that you can remain safely in your own home. To be eligible, you must either be disabled, over 65 years of age, or blind. Disabled children are also potentially eligible. IHSS is considered an alternative to out-of-home care, such as nursing homes or board and care facilities. To apply for IHSS, complete an application and submit it to your county IHSS Office.

Adult Protective Services
Each county offers these services to help adults 65 and older, and dependent adults age 18-64, when they are unable to meet their own needs or are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Staff investigates and evaluates abuse reports, and connects those in need with necessary services to support their health and safety. Services are available to any person, regardless of income.

Community Care Licensing Division
Approximately 70,000 community care facilities in the state serve more than 1 million children, adults, and seniors in out-of-home care. This division is responsible for investigating complaints and conducts regular inspection of facilities, and provides online information about facility performance and history.

Offices of Deaf Access
Services for deaf and hard of hearing children, adults, and families grant these individuals public benefits and services to which they are entitled and achieve economic independence to fully participate in mainstream society. Services are provided by eight contracted private, non-profit charitable corporations with several outreach offices.

Services to the Blind
The Office of Services to the Blind provides information and referral on services, programs, entitlements, and products of benefit to individuals who are blind or visually impaired and their families or service providers.

This and additional information may be found on the AFM Local 47 website at If you have resources to share with the Health Committee, please email

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