Legal Council Blog

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Wonk Wonk Wonky Wonk

December 17, 2008

OK, I know all you policy-wonk types are just dying to know what the Social Security dollar amounts will be for 2009. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then you’re not a wonk, you should be proud, and you needn’t read another word of this post. Here are a few important Social…

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They’re Not All Idiots After All

December 16, 2008

If you read our recent blog posting, “Idiots Still Run the Show,” you’re up-to-date on the travails of Linda, our client whose Social Security benefits were cut off — and who got the Royal Runaround when she went to her local office (twice!) to try to fix the problem. Well, never let it be said…

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Stigma and Hysteria are Alive and Well in the Heartland

December 11, 2008

Surely you’ve read in numerous mainstream media reports that AIDS is now a “chronic, manageable” illness like diabetes or high cholesterol, thanks to advances in antiretroviral medications. Right. Consider the panic that hit Normandy High School in St. Louis last month when news spread that maybe — maybe — as many as 50 kids in…

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Idiots Still Run the Show

December 11, 2008

Ever get the feeling that government bureaucrats make it up as they go along? Here’s a recent case that will confirm those feelings. Our client Linda (not her real name) has been receiving Social Security disability benefits for several years. In 2004 Linda started doing some part-time work. Then in 2007 her health got worse,…

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Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Give Blood

December 5, 2008

Here’s an infuriating case we got just this week. Our client — whom I’ll call Leonard — goes to a lab every 3 or 4 months so that his doctor can check his CD4 count and viral load. Last month he met with a new phlebotomist at the lab. The two of them got to…

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Why We Work Hard, part 2

October 17, 2008

We work hard because, once in a while, Social Security doesn’t. As you’ll recall from our last post, Ann Fisher headed off to a Social Security hearing this afternoon with Steve, a 29-year-old man with a host of medical problems but scant medical records to document them — a tough case if there ever was…

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Why We Work Hard

October 17, 2008

If you’d like a snapshot of the realities our clients face every day — the sort of realities that can make providing legal services a real challenge — consider this story. Steve (not his real name) grew up being shuttled between various foster homes. By the age of 19 he was HIV-positive. He spent the…

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Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor… But Not Your HIV Positive

October 8, 2008

You may have read in the news recently that President Bush signed legislation lifting the ban that prevented HIV-positive people from emigrating (or even visiting) the United States. As a result, you may think that now the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services treats people with HIV just like anyone else who wants to come to…

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HIV May Be Older Than We Think

October 2, 2008

Well whaddya know, it wasn’t a sex-crazed, vampiric Canadian flight attendant after all. New research from the University of Arizona suggests that HIV may have begun circulating among humans as early as 1908. Here’s a link to an article describing the study. You’ll have to excuse the author for using the inaccurate term “AIDS virus,”…

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