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How Youth Challenge is Empowering the Community


How Youth Challenge is Empowering the Community

October 24th, 2017 by

Community Spotlight: Youth Challenge

youth challenge

Attorney Andrew November, as well as Laura Gold, an Advocacy & Disability Rights Coordinator, presented to Youth Challenge (YC) about their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on October 4. YC is an organization that provides sporting, artistic, and recreational opportunities to children and young adults who have physical disabilities.

“Andrew and Laura vividly captured the essence of the ADA as a Civil Rights movement. The young people from YC who were in attendance grasped the basic titles of the law and now have a better understanding of their rights and where to find resources going forward,” said Chris Garr, Director of Program Services for Youth Challenge.

Youth Challenge serves about 200 children and young adults with physical disabilities annually. In addition, there are over 500 teen volunteers and 400 programs each year. Garr says how having the opportunity to empower youth is one of the most rewarding aspects of  his involvement with the organization.

Youth Challenge is also an active member of ADA Cleveland. A part of their mission is to educate participants and volunteers on the importance of advocacy; as well as a responsibility to ensure the fulfillment of the ADA.

Contact Chris Garr at 440-892-1001 ext. 20 and cgarr@youthchallengesports.com for participation involvement; in addition, contact Sarah Perez-Stable at sperez-stable@youthchallengesports.com for volunteer opportunities.

800 Sharon Dr, Westlake, OH 44145, (440)-892-1001

Ohio Department of Education Announces Special Education Update

August 25th, 2017 by

Ohio Special Education Update

School is officially back in session for the 2017 – 2018 school year! Earlier this month, the Ohio Department of Education sent out an update for special education. There is a new publication for parents of children who receive special education services. The new 33-page piece of literature is titled, “A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education.” It is available in 11 languages, as well as braille. This guide replaces the former guide known as “Whose IDEA Is This?” Parents should not use the previous publication because it contains outdated information.

special education

In addition to the updated special education guide, the Ohio Department of Education also said that Ohio is one of 34 states receiving a 2017 determination of “Needs Assistance.” This is Ohio’s third year having this status. Ohio specifically needs assistance with implementing Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which establishes educational requirements for children with disabilities from ages 3 to 21.

What is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) passed in 1975 “is a federal law that requires schools to serve the education needs of eligible students with disabilities.” The act states that schools are required to find and evaluate students who may have a disability. This does not cost anything for parents. The act also allows parents to have a voice in their child’s education.

IDEA covers 13 different categories of disabilities. These include:

• Autism
• Deaf-blindness
• Deafness
• Emotional disturbances
• Hearing impairments
• Intellectual disabilities
• Multiple disabilities
• Orthopedic impairments
• Other health impairments (such as ADHD)
• Specific learning disabilities (such as dyslexia)
• Speech or language impairments
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Visual impairments

Under IDEA, either the parent or the school can request an evaluation for a student to determine if they have a disability. If they are found to have a disability falling in one of the 13 categories, they are then set up with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). An IEP is a legal document detailing the services their school will provide to a student in order for them to achieve their educational goals.

Continue to stay up to date with any educational changes for Ohio by visiting the Ohio Department of Education’s website. In addition, if you or your child needs legal assistance with discrimination cases, contact our office. Call us at 216-282-1773 for a free consultation.

Read Liner Legal’s August 2017 Newsletter

August 1st, 2017 by

Monthly Newsletter – August 2017

You can also click here for a downloadable PDF version of the August 2017 newsletter.

august 2017 newsletter


Free Legal Advice Clinic for Low-Income Individuals

July 31st, 2017 by

When you are in need of legal advice and a lawyer, it can be a stressful time if you don’t know where to start. The Jewish Federation of Cleveland wants to help make this process easier.

The organization is hosting a Free Legal Advice Clinic for low-income individuals on Sunday August 27, 2017 from 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM.

Legal Advice Clinic Details

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland provided information on the event, which includes:

  • The Jewish Federation of Cleveland is partnering with Gesher and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to offer this event where people can seek out free legal advice.
  • People can either walk-in or set up an appointment prior to the event to speak with a lawyer. Legal advice on civil matters is offered during the clinic. Civil matters include landlord/tenant disputes, family issues, or employment disputes. Any discussions held during the event between a lawyer and attendee is strictly confidential.
  • IMPACT! will provide Pro Bono guidance. This is a program provided by the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.
  • Attorneys present at the event are there to give brief advice and referrals only. The attorneys at the clinic are NOT representing you. The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland or another service provider can refer you to legal representation if you need it.

If you are interested in making an appointment call 216-593-2887. The event also indicates that people should complete an interest form, found at http://www.jewishcleveland.org/news/event_rsvp/free_legal_advice_clinic/

It is also advised that you bring any important papers with you!

The event is at Green Road Synagogue. The address is 2437 South Green Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44122.

Additionally, if you or anyone you know needs legal advice or legal representation for social security benefits, supplemental security income, long-term disability or Deaf and other advocacy claims, don’t hesitate to contact Liner Legal right away! Call us at 216-282-1773 for a free consultation.

Ohio Disability Financial Assistance Program Ending

July 18th, 2017 by

Ohio was one of the 26 states that offered General Assistance programs for people with low-incomes, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. However, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced earlier this month that the Disability Financial Assistance Program (DFA) will end on December 31, 2017. The DFA provided up to $115 a month in cash assistance for those who met the income-based and medical requirements.

Disability Financial Assistance Program

Who uses DFA?

To qualify for DFA, people had to meet the same medical requirements the Social Security Administration requires. DFA paid for a one-time medical consultation to see if they qualified. In addition, individuals must:

• Be disabled, with a physical or mental health problem. This issue must prevent them from working.
• Go 9 months without being able to work. Or they have a serious condition that could cause death and they cannot wait 9 months.
• Have $1,000 or less in resources.
• Be an Ohio resident.
• Not receive Supplement Social Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance or Ohio Works First assistance

Additionally, some people benefitted from the DFA program while they waited for income from other sources, including Social Security. Disabled and low-income persons received DFA and relied on the cash assistance. As a result of the program ending, those individuals will lose that assistance each month.

What does this mean for current DFA recipients?

The Clark County Department of Job & Family Services released the following statement about the program ending:

“The Disability Financial Assistance Program (DFA) is a state and county-funded program, which provides cash assistance to persons who meet DFA program requirements and who are ineligible for any financial assistance program supported in whole or in part by federal funds (e.g., Ohio Works First (OWF), Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)). In accordance with Section 812.40 of the Ohio Revised Code, the DFA program is being repealed; State funding will no longer be available and the program will end effective December 31, 2017.”

As of July 1, 2017 any new applications or reapplications for DFA will be denied. Current recipients of the Disability Financial Assistance Program will be phased out between now and December 31, 2017. Recipients will receive a letter notifying them of the termination of the program.”

The attorneys at Liner Legal have years of experience providing effective and dedicated legal services to disabled persons. If you are applying for Social Security benefits, it is important to pick an attorney who gives you the best chance of receiving what you are entitled to. For a free consultation on your case, call us at 216-282-177.

New Video Uses American Sign Language to Provide Overview of Ohio CDL Process

June 1st, 2017 by

The State of Ohio has released an American Sign Language Video for Deaf CDL Applicants: 

The Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) collaborated on a video that uses American Sign Language to explain how Deaf and hard of hearing individuals can obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

The video explains the steps one must take to first obtain a federal hearing exemption before taking the CDL test.  If you’re interested in joining the commercial driving industry, check out the video here:

It is wonderful to see the State of Ohio reach out to Ohio’s Deaf population with a video produced in American Sign Language.  This positive trend started in 2013 when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted 40 individuals exemptions from the Agency’s standard concerning hearing.  In the pursuit of Deaf rights, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was instrumental in providing evidence supporting the safety of Deaf drivers.  In fact, the NAD conducted over 100 hours of interviews showing that Deaf drivers often face fewer distractions on the road.

If you’re ready to get behind the wheel, click here to begin the process!

Appealing a Disability Claim Denial

May 2nd, 2017 by

Disability claims are often denied the first time they are submitted. There are many reasons a claim might be denied, but the result can be frustrating and can also be financially constraining for someone who can no longer earn an income. Thankfully, those who find themselves in this type of situation can appeal the decision and submit the claim again in anticipation of a different answer. All you need to do is follow the steps that are outlined below.

Appealing a Disability Claim Denial

Read your denial letter
If your disability benefits application was denied, you will receive a letter stating that fact in the mail. Do not ignore this letter. It contains important information about your next steps and filing an appeal. Follow the instructions in the letter carefully and completely.

Do not delay your appeal
Do not let your discouragement about the denial cause you to delay filing an appeal. You have only 60 days from your denial date to file your appeal, so time is of the essence. Contact your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and ask for a “Request for Reconsideration” form to begin your appeal.

Contact an SSA lawyer
If you did not seek legal counsel when you first applied for disability, now is the time to do so. A disability attorney knows the ins and outs of the system and can help you file an appeal that will be approved.

Request a hearing
To get the ball rolling, you will need to request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This judge reviews disability cases and determines if there is enough evidence to overturn the initial denial.

Appeals Council Review
If the ALJ accepts your claim, there is no need to go any further. However, if your claim is still denied, you can request that your case be reviewed by the Appeals Council. This group will review your case. If they decide you are eligible for benefits, they can return the case to the original deciding judge for a reversal or they may simply reverse the decision on their own.

Appeal to the Federal court
If the Appeals Council does not reverse the denial, you can then appeal the case to the Federal Court. At this point, your case will be reviewed again and a decision will be made regarding your eligibility for benefits.

If you are ready to appeal your disability claim denial, Liner Legal is here for you. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the benefits you deserve.

What Makes a VA Disability Lawyer in Ohio Stand Out?

March 29th, 2017 by

When you ask a VA disability lawyer what their most defining characteristic is, almost all will immediately say that it is their dedication to their clients. Lawyers all like to say that everything they do is for their clients, and that what truly gives them satisfaction is knowing that they helped someone receive the benefits that they need and deserve. Though this is a heartwarming answer, after hearing it over and over it can become difficult to tell which attorneys are actually the best for you. If all of them want to help you, what sets each one apart from the others? Thankfully, there are certain characteristics in attorneys that you can look for to tell which is the best for you. Here’s what makes a VA disability lawyer in Ohio stand out:

What Makes a VA Disability Lawyer in Ohio Stand Out

1. Knowledge of the law

This is crucial for any attorney, but there is a difference between knowing the law and understanding how to use it to your best advantage to win a case. You can tell which attorneys know the law and which ones really know it by asking one simple question: what sets Ohio apart from the rest of the country when it comes to VA disability benefits, and which local laws will impact your disability claim? The best disability lawyers will explain how your location in Ohio will specifically impact your benefits or your chances of receiving them. This is different from just having a generic knowledge of how disability law works.

2. Dedication and perseverance

These two traits are a bit more difficult to tease out of someone upon first meeting them, but after working with your disability lawyer for a few weeks you can definitely tell whether they possess the dedication and perseverance that makes a VA disability lawyer in Ohio stand out. Gathering evidence and going through the appeals process is not easy, and attorneys should be prepared to not give up easily.

3. Genuine care

This goes back to what was said earlier – attorneys all say that they are working in your best interest. However, you can tell genuine care apart from businesslike politeness, so look for small gestures that show your lawyer is interested in your case and wants to help you.

5 Reasons Veterans Need a Disability Attorney in Ohio

March 15th, 2017 by

When a veteran applies for disability services, he or she has to wait six months before receiving a notice, and if he or she is rejected, an appeal can take another six months to two years for it to get to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Even then, getting any news from the BVA usually takes about two years. So, a claim for VA benefits can take up to ten years; meanwhile, life goes on for that Veteran. Bills need to paid, mouths need to be fed, and clothes need to be bought. With a attorney, however, one has a much better chance of winning his or her claim the first time, and here are a few reasons why:

5 Reasons Veterans Need a Disability Attorney in Ohio

1. Knowledge of the Application Process

Hiring a VA lawyer to help with your application is a smart move. This part marks the beginning of the process, so starting on the right foot is important. Your lawyer can help you navigate the paperwork so that you have a better chance of winning your case the first time.

2. Knowledge of the Law

After the paperwork, you will have to present the case in court, so you will need the necessary medical summaries and evidence needed for the case. Furthermore, the attorney will help you argue your case as well. And, he will have knowledge of past cases that can apply to your case.

3. Knowledge of the Appeal Process

If, by chance, your case is rejected, you don’t want to give up. You are going to want to file an appeal. Of course, your lawyer can help you figure that process out as well. Moreover, your attorney can apply past cases to help you win your benefits.

4. Higher Compensation Totals

Your attorney can also make sure you don’t get jibbed. He or she will know how much compensation you deserve, especially if past, successful, cases demonstrate that you deserve more. It is this knowledge that you are really getting when you pay for an attorney.

5. Higher Success Rates

Veterans can choose from myriad of options to help represent or assist them with their case, but those with an attorney by their side have the lowest rejection rate, especially in front of the BVA, at 17.7 percent. Additionally, those with representation also are more likely to have successful appeals, averaging at 32.7 percent. Overall, the numbers don’t lie; an attorney will help your case immensely.