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What kind of attorny would I need?
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What kind of attorny would I need?

I had been off of work for two days for a scheduled drs apt and during that time my manager called me. He asked how my visit went and then said that someone had told them I had hepatitis. He asked me if I did and what kind, I told him yes and hep C. He told me that they had had a meeting about my medical history and that I had to have a release from my doctor for them to let me come to work. I called the drs office and told them what I needed and they were supposed to fax it, they didn't. So I went back up to the drs office and they said that the office manager wanted to talk to me. She had a paper for me but it was not a release. Basically she told me that they had no right to call and ask me that and it was none of their business..... I serve tables. So I called the manager and told him what was said and that they had violated my HIPPA rights and privacy rights. (They discussed it with management in a meeting and with a server) So Im filing with the EEOC but I want to protect myself and talk to an attorney. What kind do I need to talk to?
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Avatar_f_tn
A civil liberties lawyer and / or one that will sue....see if there is a legal hotline that you can call or the hospital should have some info for you too....NO EMPLOYER HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT to ask you about your medical tests, health, diagnosis, etc.  This guy could lose his job for being so stupid.  They aren't even suppose to ask you how old you are for heavens sake.  This is outrageous....because the general public is so stupid about Hep C....it's not A or B....Are you in a major city....?

The biggest thing EVERYONE needs to remember...no boss or employer is your friend...even if you know them socially.....my last boss who was my friend socially taught me that lesson well.  

Other posters will pop on here with more info...and resources.  But you need to be your own advocate at a time when you least feel like doing it.
Hope you are mad enough to do something about this,,,,and hope your lawyer sues their pants off because they hired an idiot for a manager.

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1669790_tn?1333666195
Labor/Employment law attorney - Although they obviously violated your HIPPA rights, the civil penalties might not amount to much.  You have to decide if this worth suing over while possibly losing you job?  It might get very complicated and messy.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was lucky to have had a boss who wouldn't let me go. People like that are hard to fine but I will give you tell you of my experience. I also worked with the public, when I started therapy I thought I'd be able to work. If you are in the service industry, you may not be able to physically keep up with the work. You also have to think about how many people you come in contact with, not because you are a threat to them but because they are a threat to your health. You don't want to get sick while on treatment, it could cause all kinds of complications. Just something to think about. if you can take a leave of absent with a guarantee of your job being there, it may be the best thing for you. Good luck with everything....streamer
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Avatar_f_tn
I haven't started treatment yet. Im thinking about doing that asap. Question, will I be able to take care of my son and will I be able to get like SSI or something while Im out of work?
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh honey Im mad. Im broke and haven't worked in over 2 years because I was married to a psychopath who wouldn't let me work. So I had a hell of a time getting a job. I was so excited when I got this job.. I loved it. I could take care of my son and buy him things, no question. Then it was all taken from me because I have a life threatening disease that has nothing to do with them. I think its sad that people would treat someone the way they did me. I would never do that. If the tables would have been turned, I would have found out if there was anything I could do to help... extra hours, less hours, whatever, I would make it happen. But to fire me and to put misconduct, absenteeism and quality of work on there when I had worked there for a month, still new and learning, never been wrote up or in trouble and never missed not one day, its disgraceful!
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Avatar_m_tn
           i had the exact same issue.   i was a butcher for my whole working life.  someone found out my dx and all hell broke loose.  someone didnt wany me working there and got HR involved.  they asked me for documentation of my dx.  they wanted to retrain me for for something that didnt involve knives and power saws, and take a huge cut in pay.  my union counselor sent the hr folks a 2 line memo stating leave me alone and stop the harassment.  they got me a phone appt with a rep from thr FDEH  (federal dept of employment and housing).  after interviewing both sides they awarded me with the right to sue.  i was told i had one year to file.  at this point my corp. asked me what i wanted.  

              best of luck      barry
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Avatar_f_tn
I was fired when I went into work that day. They never looked at the paper that I had from the dr, they were waiting for me when I got there and walked me outside. The "reason" they gave on the termination paper was misconduct, excessive absenteeism, and quality/quantity of work. I had been there only a month, never been in trouble, written up, and have never missed one day.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry to hear this.  Unfortunately ignorance is prevalent.  And employers seem to have the upper hand as they can always find "some" legit reasoning to let you go.  In some states the employer has all the rights.  However, if they state a "reason" for firing you most companies unless they are mom and pop's are suppose to follow a guideline of verbal warning, written warning, suspension then firing.  You will find this to be true in larger corporate companies.

It is hard to not talk about a disease that is causing you so much problems but sometimes you have to plaster on a smile, keep your mom shut and simply lie.  Sad, but true.  That is why HCV is a hidden disease most people don't want to talk about.

Go get another job. Don't mention anything about the other job.  That's why I asked you if you were in a little town or large.  Go to work for a corporate company and do a different type of job.  Go to unemployment agency and apply.  Again, don't mention.  You do not have to tell anyone about your physical status nor are they allowed to ask you by federal law.  Just say you are fine.  Because at that second you are.  You are fine, you are filling out an ap, you are looking for a job.   A temporary employment agency can also be the way to start a new career.  

Again, as mention by me and others above, it does depend on the size of your company.  If they were a corporate chain they are more suable.  If a mom and pop, they are more vindictive.   It's a hard call and you don't really have the income to pursue but if there is a legal hotline or like in my town there is a forum every Tuesday that gives free legal advice.  

Hey posters...surely there is someone more qualified than me who is outraged that this occurred.  Paralegal?  Lawyer?  Give this poster some help.  

When asking for help I wondered what do you want from this situation?  
I've had tons of different jobs over the years.  I was just lucky when diagnosed I was working for a major insurance carrier who had my back but I still didn't discuss it at that time with others.  

Know how you feel.  I can only wish you well and hope you find some resolution to this problem.





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Avatar_f_tn
You are a breath of fresh air. Your messages make me smile, and unless you are my 3 year old, that's been a hard thing to do lately! I have been so depressed since this happened.. I just feel like I cant win for losing. I'm not from a big city, I'm from a city of almost 18'000. But I'm from the country and a lot of people from here know each other. I thought I was on top of the world when I got this job. I had just left my very abusive ex husband and year to the day I got the job. I'm engaged to my sons father and everything just felt like my world was coming back together. Then this.... the only reason they found out was because I was going to get a tattoo and had told people at work that I had an apt that night. Well...... I was honest with them, and they turned me down and stepped back from me like I was an open infection. So the next day at work the girls asked to see it and I told them I didn't get it. One just kept on asking and asking why and finally I just blurted it out. She knew what she was doing. She's the one who went to mgmt. about it. And to top it off... shes the supervisor now. Oh and guys, to beat it all.... they fired me and blamed it on all those reasons, but just the week before I HAD TURNED DOWN THAT SUPERVISOR POSITION! So evidentally I was doing my job... but it does make me feel good to know that she was the last resort. She has been there a year and was the last one asked, I was asked my second day of work.I didn't take it because it was a big paycut. That's ok though, what comes around goes around, and she will get hers. But really guys, I just turned 30 in Feb and I'm having to deal with all this... The Hep is enough, but to lose my job for it? Really? I just pray that someone will help me, throw me a bone.... something. I'm so sad I cant keep from crying, I feel like a loser who cant even take care of my own family. This *****. But thank you everyone for being there to talk to, I need yall more than ever.     *B
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Im going to post a link below for a website where you can post a question and get free legal advise from attorneys. Ive used the site myself and its great....you may even get a lawyer who will take your case pro bono...who knows...but at least...they will tell you if you have a case or not.

http://www.avvo.com/ask-a-lawyer?ref=header_navbar
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1669790_tn?1333666195
If your previous employer has no documentation to support your firing, it the legal system will usually protect the employee.  Employers often do dumb things and think they can get away with it, but need to be challenged when they violate your rights.  They obviously violated the HIPPA law which a judge will take very seriously.  Talk to a labor law attorney is you can find one willing to listen.  Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Slow down, take a minute and write. Write every big and little detail from the day you interviewed to the day they fired you. Time will blur facts, be prepared, dates you worked extra too, all the positive and negatives.

Now, SSI, unemployment, don't count on it. SSI you have to be out of work for a year first, and it is near impossible to prove and get it the first trip. I tried for 3 years and was turned down all along the way.

As far a going for treatment and caring for your son. Every persons reaction to the treatment is as different as each person. Some have no bad side effects, others have really severe reactions.

I was lucky, worked all thru my treatment. I was very tired, and had increased migraines. My problems surfaced in the years after treatment.
I think the best medicine you will have will be your arms cuddled around your son.

As for treatment, I have one piece of advice. Make sure now is the time to be treated. I jumped to get treated, after I completed it, I found out I had options. For me, (may not be option for you) I should have waited and watch my  numbers.

Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Just wanted to let you know that my fiancé talked to a judge (incidentally hes in drug court so the judge is part of it) but he told the judge what happened and he said that they violated all kinds of right and gave me the name of an attny. I called them and explained the situation to them and told them that I had called and explained the deal with the eeoc and they said I have a case then to print out the complaint form, fill it out, get statements and whatever evidence I could and send it all in. SOOO.. like I told you, IM MAD! I have a 3 year old that I cant even buy new summer clothes for and got him into a learning academy and day care today, and don't have money to buy the stuff he needs by Monday. (This is really hard to type between tears.... I never wanted to be in this situation!) To make matters worse, his daddy is  in jail again so Im alone going through this. You guys are my strength. Anyway I got the claim form filled out, named names, got a statement from a girl that still works there saying that I was a good worker and that there was one incident where I was mistreated by a supervisor who got fired over getting in my face and cussing me like a dog. (SHES A GOOD 220 and Im 106 lbs) I mean I got mad and defended myself and that was the only thing that ever happened. I didn't get in trouble for that, I was offered her job. Long story kinda short.... I got a statement from my dr, my friend, sent a 4 page timed and dated statement of my own o f what happened, and all of my pay stubs... just in case they try and pull a fast one. Your damn right Im mad, Im mad as hell and you know I'm a 30 year old mother who is fun loving, friendly and just want to work and be a good mom. I hope and pray everynight that I win this. What should I ask for in mediation besides a PUBLIC APOLOGY? I want money, I want to buy a small house that I own, with a big fenced in back yard so my bubby can run and play till hes so tired he falls over. I want to be happy for the first time in many months and stress free for the first time in many years. Is that too much to ask. They did wrong. I would NEVER do someone that way...... but not everyone has a heart I guess! BUT its in the mail as of yesterday.. so game on a$$h0l3s!!! AGAIN.. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR ADVISE AND SUPPORT! We need a ribbon like breast cancer ribbons, we are fighting a life threatening disease too.... BTW NO OFFENSE TO BC ribbons... I wear and have everything with one!
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Avatar_f_tn
That's great! Sounds like you have a plan. Did the attorney say how long it would take? Did you have health insurance there? I think it would be reasonable that since they interrupted your funds, they should be forced to pay for your insurance to continue with treatment.
I understand how unsetting this all is to you, (and you might be kidding), I don't think a public apology would be wise, then all your business is on the street. People who do not understand could treat your son differently.
A letter of recommendation, a name and phone number of the person who will give you a good reference in the future, where you would not have to worry about your personal business being discussed.
FYI, when going thru treatment, high anxiety has sometimes made symptoms worse. Made a regular daily plan, at least 20 minutes a day cuddled up with your son, and think of nothing, nothing, but what he is talking about. It will be the best medicine for both of you.
Keep truckin!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey guys, I just want you  to know that Im not on treatments yet. I was married until I left him in April of last year and he was very abusive and just all out crazy. So when  I went for my biopsy of my liver he flipped out because it was ALL ABOUT HIM and blacked my eye, so I chickened out and didn't go for my biopsy. So when I left I tried to get back in there and my Drs office called to schedule it again, they refused to see me because I missed an apt there. So my fiancé, which is my sons father (That I gave it to, unknowingly) got an apt for himself in another town that's not far away and all they did was a ultrasound. They said he was fine at the moment, no scar tissue or anything and so Im gonna go there. They were AWESOME! Long story short, I don't know how long Ive had it, it could be two or 3 years or 10 to 12. I really could be in bad shape and Im terrified of that. But I wanted you guys to know that because I get a lot of responses about treatments.
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Avatar_f_tn
What I do wanna know is how much money I should ask for in the mediation. I mean I could ask and get 1000 and screw myself or I could ask for 100000..... what do you guys think?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, sorry about what happened to you. Has your attorney said anything about this?

"The courts of Virginia follow an "employment-at-will" doctrine. At-will employees may be terminated for any reason, so long as it is not illegal."

Trying to prove it was otherwise might be very hard, I hope your not giving your attorney up front money but he is working on contingency.

Hopingg for the best for you and your son.
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317787_tn?1373214989
Hi I am so sorry for your experience.  I would love to say that you have rights and fight this.  As Can-do mentioned above, in Virginia, it is a "right to work state" which to our horror we found out that employers can fire you for any reason.  You might be better served to focus on your son and your health instead of fighting an employer who you only worked for a month.
If I read your post wrong I apologize.  My husband lost his job of many years as a technician and we had no legal recourse.  You can contact free legal aid in Virginia and they can help as well.
My best to you and your son
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317787_tn?1373214989
Once again, my heart was in the right place, foot in my mouth.
Please ignore my post
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1669790_tn?1333666195
If you are talking about mediation, their goal is to solve this issue at no cost and hopefully you'll be happy with an apology.  You might be offering something, but it won't be much.  Rather than mediation, I'd suggest you talk with a labor law attorney.  They will tell you if you think you have a good case.  Even in "employement at will" states, when an employer discriminates and violates HIPPA laws, they will be held accountable.  Don't go to mediation unless your attorney advises you to do so.  You aren't prepared to defend yourself.
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Avatar_f_tn
I talked to an attorney that said that where I had contacted and made a complaint with the eeoc that I was already ahead of them. The person at the eeoc said that I had a case to fill out the complaint form and send it in. My rights were violated in many ways. First, they had no right to call me on the phone and ask me if I had the disease, second they had no right to ask for a release because they were supposed to call the health dept and talk to them first. The judge said I had a case, the eeoc, and the attny. The attorney said that what will happen is that the eeoc will go in and investigate, that they have to have proof of why they fired me. (Which was for excessive absinteeeism, misconduct, and quality/quantity of work) I never missed a day, worked over EVERYDAY, never got in trouble, nothing. I never even worked another day after they found out about my hep. And to make matters worse for them, I was asked the second day of work to take the supervisor position and turned it down a few days before, now the (excuse my language) ***** who told everyone is the supervisor. How about that...... I understand the laws in VA about firing for whatever, but not when you find out I have hep then fire me for things that I didn't do and they have no proof of. The attorney said that the eeoc will go in and ask them for proof of my absenteeism and paperwork showing my misconduct then after all that they will set up a mediation where we come to an agreement to what its gonna take to make this go away. If we cant agree, I will get a letter to sue and the attny will pick it up from there. We will take them to court, and that's what I will do. They don't want this to go public, there are a lot of people in this area with hep c, plus it will cause them tons of embarrassment. I mean they had a meeting with mgmt. and employees about MY HEALTH. That is wrong! Don't worry, Im a smart girl, I got all my bases covered..... I WILL come out on top. They WILL be held accountable!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm getting a lot of comments from you guys, some good and some not so good on the bright side part of this. So really, do you guys honestly think I shouldn't fight for my rights because I live in Va. Its not like I was just fired for not working well.... they found out about my Hep C and I never worked another day. I was fired for missing too many days when I had never missed any and misconduct when Id never been in trouble. shouldn't they have to have documentation on this since I filed the complaint. I understand that BS law in Va, but I still think that I have rights and they violated the hell out of them! I mean really, I was scheduled off for a biopsy where they found some cervical cancer and then they find this out during the two days Im off, then all of a sudden Ive had too many unexcused absences and did some sort of misconduct. But I hadn't even been there. Everything was fine when I left, I had actually turned down a supervisor position a few days before, so obviously I was doing my job. Why shouldn't I have the right to fight this because I live in Va? That's a BS law and needs to be changed. But there are lawyers,a doctor,  a judge and the EEOC who all know Im in Va and seem to think it was wrong and I have a case. But tell me what yall think...... its not like Im missing time with my son to fight it.
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Avatar_f_tn
And another thing........ I am focusing on my son. I want him to know that being treated this way is un fair and he needs to fight for what is right. And not only that, but because of where they fired me, I cant get a job. So I cant even show my kid that you must work to have things, not lay around wait for things to come to you. Bills don't pay themselves, he needs to learn that. I want him to have a good work ethic, but I have no way of showing him that because of the former job. So now do you think I'm wrong and not focusing on my son?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi...it's me. You know I back you all the way. And I think people are trying to be positive but they are trying to be practical too.  And they don't want you to get hurt anymore than you all ready have been. Oh build your hopes up more.  And many may have been put in the same situations.

While I constantly get on my soap box over issues like this, in  "an employer at will state" it is hard to prove anything unless they have really tripped up.  Even then, in my state, all they have to do is say, "We want to thank you for your hard work but we are going to have to let you go.  Thank you for the time you have given us." They don't have to even give you a reason why.  They legally do not have to.  In these states the burden lays on the employee to prove wrong doing.  And that is hard.

How do I know that?  I live in one of those states.  I have seen people fired just because and when they have tried to do something about it the employer and  "witnesses" suddenly appear if it goes to court.  The unemployment office here honors the employer firing at will status.  No, it's not fair.  I worked for one of those guys...he was evil...he was the type that could fall in a pit of you know what and come out smelling like a rose. He fired many a good worker "just because"....think he got some previse thrill out it.

But listen to your EEOC and lawyer...never pay the lawyer up front is good advice...only if they get something....and go forward with what you have to do, regardless of what any one else thinks.  

I do understand what you are trying to teach your son but you have time on that front because he is so little and somewhat unaware of adult situations around him.

The only thing he is going to know is that his mommy is sad, upset, mad.  And you don't want that for him.  You don't want to scare him. And from what you  have said, I know you never would.   Hugs and Kisses...and a better world...I know that's what you want for him.  But things have to be taken one step at a time.  

The real issue is to eliminate all of those people from you life.  And to get you proper medical attention and financial help.  I know here in this state, even if you can't file for unemployment, you can still use the WorkForce or state employment to help you get another job.  You sound very smart.  I know you can do anything you put your mind to.

When stuff like this happens to me I have learned just to breathe and become very quite.  Clear my mind and then start making lists.  Everyone has there own way to cope.  

And I'm with you, "employer at will" statue should be abolished.  Employers should be held accountable.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, You said you spoke to a lawyer, what did he/she say? Do they require a retainer?
Thinking of the expense of treatment, how are you paying medical costs? Your boyfriend is already seeing a dr. pick his mind: Is it urgent for you to start treatment now? Can you be monitored  and plan things out.
If I were in your shoes I would be mad as hell, I would be concerned about medical insurance and watching my step that the Hep c could not be rejected in the future as pre-existing.
If the drs say it is ok to monitor your levels, I would look for a new job and concentrate on settling down you life.
Like I suggested earlier, write it down, write everything, dates, times, people. Do it now while it is fresh in your mind. (fyi, one of my side effects during treatment was/is memory loss).
Now, after you do todays list of this and that, stop, go play a game with your son, really, relax, take a bath, or read a book for an hour. Do something where you stop all thinking, and just be. The world can manage while you take care of your wellbeing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Honey I wrote a 4 page letter with dates and times of everything said and sent that among other things to the EEOC. I've made my complaint already. The lawyer said that I was already doing what they would have to do, which is contact the EEOC. The EEOC will  do an investigation, then mediation and if I don't agree on it then I get a right to sue notice, that's when the attny picks it up. I'm a VERY smart girl when it come to legal stuff, used to get into a lot of trouble. But I research everything and don't let people screw me over. I was referred to that attny by the judge so I think what hes gonna do is let me pay him when I win the case. And when I say WHEN, that's what I mean. I have spent MANY hours on here looking up everything about this and what they did, they are gonna lose. I had proof of everything, statements from a dr and an employee, my check stubs. And I told them on the phone when I made the complaint that they wouldn't give me copies of the schedules and my clock in and out times, they prove I never missed and worked over EVERYDAY!!!! They said that they would get it. This place did me wrong, they aren't very intelligent and they think that Im not either, but they are wrong. I found a webite through the ADA and it basically told me that everything they did was wrong and that they are going to be in on it too.... heres the website, check it out www.hepfocus.com/Content/Library_ADA.aspx   BTW I sent you my email about the jobs
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh and about my treatments, I'm on Va Medicaid, they cover the treatments and my fiancé is on my case and has it also. We are good when it comes to that. His mother was pushing him to start them but he wants me to first, cause Ive had it longer. But he had an ultrasound of his liver and had no scarring at all, they thought it would be best if he waited for treatments because hes in perfect shape right now. He's a good man to let me go first, I gave it to him. Not on purpose, but I did and I feel horrible. But I saw on TV the other day... there are 300'000 people in the usa who have hep c and 40-50% are heathcare workers. People need to be educated about this disease, so people like us aren't treated like ****. People are stupid to it and its sad. I had someone talk a bunch of crap about me having it, told a lot of people and acted like I was nasty. Well guess what, SHE HAS IT TOO!!!!!!!!!
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317787_tn?1373214989
I wanted to come back and tel you how sorry I am for what you are going through.  It is awful. My husband had the same thing happen, he could not even get unemployment.  It was horrible with two small sons to take care of. I can definitely sympathize.  
I am sure you will do well.
All the best
Dee
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Avatar_f_tn
I cant get unemployment either, and I have  a small child to take care of myself. My fiancé is is jail (He gets out tomorrow)  and we live in a condo with his mothers name on it, who told me the other day I had 30 days to find some other housing. I don't know what I'm gonna do. I'm going through enough, was having all of my benefits taken away and called her crying and she broke that to me.... how precious and thoughtful was that!  When hard times come for me, they come like a train with 90 cars loaded with bricks.  I'm at a loss, trying for  government housing and I never wanted to do that....... I just wanna ball up and cry. I have been balling up and crying, hell I just woke up and Im crying already!
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317787_tn?1373214989
Oh, it is so horrible to hear of your troubles, it just keeps on coming.  I am so very sorry.
Not that this is a solution however it will take her many months to get you out.  She has to file paperwork, then have the sherrif serve you with 30 days notice.
I know this is not an ideal solution to a problem but you sound like you are at the end of your rope and hanging on by a finger nail, so sorry.
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