Throughout the month of December, Birmingham John Lewis Legal Fellow, Frederick Spight, has provided outstanding service to clients struggling with a variety of unemployment and public benefits issues. Thanks to Spight, his clients have gained stability and access to benefits that are even more important now than ever.
In one case, Spight restored benefits for a single mother of three children who had been out of work due to the pandemic. The client had been receiving regular unemployment payments when suddenly her benefits were abruptly stopped. The Department of Labor’s website had gone through a recent interface change and the client was unable to contact anyone in their office. Spight was able to advise her on how to use the appointment scheduler, and together they resolved her issue. The client’s benefits were restored, including back pay for the previous month she did not receive.
Spight also offered counsel and advice to others experiencing similar difficulties. His counsel helped to restore food stamps or unemployment benefits for an unemployed couple, a single-income family with a father who is disabled, and a quarantined nurse who suffers from asthma.
In one exceptional case, Spight was able to help a veteran who had been experiencing homelessness. The client had been sleeping in the woods and other various places he could find. Spight helped the client enroll in HUD’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. The client now has housing and is no longer sleeping outdoors.
For all of this and so much more, Frederick Spight is our December 2020 Advocate of the Month. Thank you, Frederick, for all you do!