Sixty year old Jaqueline Gedin suffered from numerous ailments which left her unable to work. With no income she soon became homeless. Ms. Gedin’s claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability was filed in 2006, but was denied despite the severity of her ailments. LSGMI gathered the necessary medical evidence and represented Ms. Gedin at an administrative hearing, arguing that the evidence clearly showed that she suffered from severe impairments that rendered her unable to work. As a result of LSGMI’s advocacy, Ms. Gedin received a favorable decision and was awarded the maximum amount of SSI benefits, as well as a retroactive award of almost $12,000. With LSGMI’s help, Ms. Gedin is no longer homeless.
Jimmy’s pediatrician diagnosed him with a parasitic infection attributed to roaches, rats and other pests which made his family’s home practically uninhabitable. LSGMI helped Jimmy’s family request that the landlord rid the home of pests and make other necessary repairs. Instead, the landlord released the family from their lease and paid them $1,000 in damages which made it possible for the family to relocate to safe and clean housing.
Santana lost her job and as a result almost lost her housing as well. While Santana was waiting for a local housing assistance program to pay her back rent, her landlord filed an eviction and a writ of possession was issued. Santana’s LSGMI attorney got the writ cancelled so that she and her three small children did not become homeless. Santana is now working again, and her family is stable.
Ivana, a domestic violence victim, was living in a shelter with her four children. Her seven year old son Shawn was diagnosed with severe emotional and behavioral problems, epileptic episodes and learning disabilities due to the violence he experienced in the home. LSGMI helped Ivana successfully appeal the Social Security Administration’s denial of Shawn’s application for SSI disability benefits. Shawn was also awarded over $16,000 in retroactive benefits which made it possible for the family to move out of the shelter into their own apartment.
Josefa came to LSGMI for help after the tragic death of her daughter Marianna in a car accident. The accident left Marianna’s two boys with no parents and no place to live because the boys’ father had also died several years before. LSGMI quickly filed a petition in family court, and Josefa was awarded custody of her two grandsons in less than 30 days. The boys now live in a stable and loving home.
Nail, a nine-year employee, complained to a general manager and a district manager that her supervisor was sexually harassing her. Nail quit her job after she got no action on her complaint and was denied a transfer. Nail was awarded unemployment compensation benefits, but the employer appealed and the referee reversed the decision, finding that Nail’s fear of repeated harassment was “simply speculative.” LSGMI appealed, and Nail was ultimately awarded benefits because she had made reasonable efforts to preserve her employment.
Collis, an illiterate 85 year old retiree and father of 10, worked for decades as a cafeteria cook expecting to at least own his home. Instead he became a victim of fraud, and faced foreclosure of the home he bought in 1963. LSGMI successfully defended the foreclosure against three entities which each claimed ownership of the mortgage, asserting that their claims were invalid because they were based on a forged warranty deed. Collis now owns his home free and clear, and was awarded damages from the perpetrator of the fraud.
After working for the same employer for many years, Ms. Lumbi lost her job. Yet when she applied for unemployment compensation benefits, her claim was denied because the agency records showed that she had not earned any wages. Her LSGMI attorney appealed the denial, and proved that Ms. Lumbi’s employer had incorrectly failed to report her earnings to the State as employment wages. The appeals referee reversed the decision and found Ms. Lumbi to be monetarily eligible for unemployment compensation. As a result of our efforts, Ms. Lumbi will receive $11,327 in retroactive and ongoing benefits to support her and her daughter while she seeks other employment.
Ulrick was expecting a tax refund. Instead the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advised him he had a tax liability of almost $65,000. LSGMI discovered that someone else had filed a tax return using Ulrick’s identification, and helped him file an Identity Theft Affidavit with the IRS. As a result, the IRS released Ulrick’s tax refund plus interest and reversed all additional taxes and penalties which had been assessed. Ulrick is now in good standing with the IRS and can safely file future tax returns without fear that the IRS will once again intercept his tax refund.
After almost drowning at age four, Aliza is in a coma state, fully dependent on a ventilator and a feeding tube. With 24/7 skilled nursing care, Aliza was able to live at home with her family and avoid more costly institutionalization. However, when the State decided to reduce the number of hours of her in-home nursing care, Aliza’s doctor said it would place Aliza’s life in danger because her family was not able to meet her complex medical needs. Aliza’s family thus faced the prospect of institutionalizing her and tearing their family apart. LSGMI represented Aliza at a hearing and proved that it was medically necessary for her to continue to receive 24/7 care. As a result, Aliza remains at home with her family receiving the care she needs at a fraction of the cost to the government.
Last year, Charles, an 80-year-old retired music teacher living on a fixed income, faced foreclosure of his home of more than 50 years. With help from Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. (LSGMI), Charles still lives in his home.