Client Stories

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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.…

They’re Not All Idiots After All

By Justin Hayford | 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…

Idiots Still Run the Show

By Justin Hayford | 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,…

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Give Blood

By Justin Hayford | 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…

Why We Work Hard, part 2

By Justin Hayford | 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…

Why We Work Hard

By Justin Hayford | 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…

Going the Extra Mile … Or 1000

By Justin Hayford | September 17, 2008

We can forgive Council paralegal Steve Barrera if he’s looking a little pooped today. He’s spent the last week or so talking with various officials in the criminal court in Pinellas County, Florida trying to make sure his client’s Social Security won’t be cut off. Why would a criminal court in Florida have anything to…

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