Client Stories

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Welcome to America, Gilles!

By Justin Hayford | April 2, 2009

We do love reporting stories with happy endings. So here we go. Gilles is from Cameroon, and was granted asylum by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in August of 2005. Gilles wanted to get a green card so that he would be an official ‘lawful permanent resident,’ the first step toward becoming…

Steven Barrera, Superduper Hero

By Justin Hayford | March 26, 2009

In truth, it’s nothing special. We here at AIDS Legal Council often have to rush out of the office to help clients in tight spots. But here’s a story that reminds us why it’s important for the Council to be ready at a moment’s notice to leap tall buildings in a single bound (metaphorically, of…

If You Talk, You Pay

By Justin Hayford | March 20, 2009

Remember the case of the loose-lipped phlebotomist? It has a happy ending. A few months ago we told you about Leonard, who got his blood drawn at a suburban hospital. He started chatting with the phlebotomist, and it turned out that her nephew worked in the same store as Leonard. A few weeks later, everyone…

The VA Wises Up

By Justin Hayford | March 18, 2009

File this one under “You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me, It’s Not 1983 Anymore.” Our client Mark is a disabled veteran. A few years ago he was a raging alcoholic and drug addict. Then he started going to NA and AA meetings every day — yes, every day — for 18 months (hell, I can’t…

Another COBRA Success Story

By Justin Hayford | March 10, 2009

A lot of people think that the only legal cases that matter are the big, headline-garnering lawsuits. But often, a little bit of simple legal assistance can make a huge difference in someone’s life. And it doesn’t come with thousands of dollars in attorneys fees attached. Case in point: a few weeks ago Bill called…

Ah, the Heartlessness of the ‘Public Servant’

By Justin Hayford | February 11, 2009

Just when you thought you’d heard all there is to hear about unfeeling government workers… Our client Doug (not his real name) recently learned he has a Social Security overpayment of about $25,000. He did some part-time work for several years, and Social Security shouldn’t have been paying him benefits for about 24 months, so…

Ann Fisher, Queen of the Advocates

By Justin Hayford | February 5, 2009

I know what you think. You think that executive directors sit around all day in their corner offices eating bon-bons, getting pedicures and telling everyone else what to do. Clearly you haven’t spent much time with Ann Fisher, AIDS Legal Council’s executive director. Consider this story: Four and a half years ago Ann got a…

Criminey, They’re Idiots Again

By Justin Hayford | January 22, 2009

Remember Linda, our client who’s trying to get her Social Security started again? When last we checked in, the (seemingly) helpful supervisor at the local Social Security office informed us that she had spoken to the Payment Center, and Linda would be getting a check in 3 business days. Well, you probably know where this…

They’re Still Not All Idiots

By Legal Council | January 13, 2009

Here’s an update on Linda, our client trying to get back on Social Security. You will recall that a few weeks back, we went to a local Social Security office with Linda to try to straighten out the mess they made of her case at a different Social Security office. (Did you know that Social…

Yet Another Way to Not Get Your HIV Meds

By Justin Hayford | December 18, 2008

File this one under “Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down” (to quote the 60s soul duo Sam & Dave). You’ve probably heard of the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, or ADAP, run by the Illinois Department of Public Health. It provides free HIV medications to financially eligible people in Illinois through a pharmacy service called PharmaCare.…


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