Legal Aid helps client hit by hard economic times

Midwestern Maryland office (Frederick) law graduate Alecia Rohrer helped a man get unemployment benefits after he quit his job because his boss and the boss’s son were harassing him and using foul language. The client, a 50-something small-engine mechanic, was originally found to have quit without good cause or valid circumstances. “The client is illiterate and filed his first appeal on his own, but it was not received by DLLR,” Alecia said. “It was not until after the deadline for the appeal that I learned of the mishap and, with the help of [a senior paralegal], we assisted him in filing a second appeal,” which was successful.

Rohrer said the win was special because the client represents those hit hardest by these economic times. “He is a skilled, hard working individual, but the type of work he does is no longer in demand,” she said. “He quit his job as a small-engine mechanic to take a job doing landscaping, but shortly after, was laid off due to no work. Although he is a trained employee, he has been unsuccessful at finding work since October. He went through the winter heating his house with a wood burning fireplace because he couldn’t afford heat. His phone was periodically shut off during the times when I was preparing for his case and I had to be sure to provide him with stamped envelopes to facilitate our communication, as he simply couldn’t afford them.”

“When I called to tell him about the favorable decision, he was so elated,” Rohrer continued. “He told me that as I was talking to him he was cashing in cans that he had collected from garbage cans. He thanked me for my help and I could hear his smile.”

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