Now that the feds agree that Will Jones is Will Jones, the Aurora resident received a pleasant surprise this month — an unexpected windfall.
Jones, the subject of the Nov. 3 column, applied for Social Security benefits in April but was denied because of confusion about his name.
The 62-year-old was born Will Parks, but three years after his birth, his mother married a man with the last name Jones.
From then on, Will Parks was known on all legal documents as Will Jones.
After trying unsuccessfully to persuade the Social Security Administration to release his benefits, Jones turned to What's Your Problem? The federal agency asked Jones to provide some additional information, then approved his benefits in early November.
What he didn't realize at the time was that the Social Security Administration had backdated its approval to when he first applied in April, creating a windfall of accumulated benefits.
Jones said he checked his bank account Wednesday and saw the federal government had deposited $7,236.
"Everything is great," Jones said.
Moving forward, he should get about $1,200 a month.
Getting the lead out: Lead abatement work has been completed on Nicolas Ornelas' home.
Ornelas, originally featured in the Sept. 22 column, had been approved in February to have his Blue Island two-flat repaired by Cook County. Under the program, the county would replace the property's windows and remove all lead-based paint.
After the Problem Solver inquired about the case in September, the county approved funding for the project and quickly got to work.
Ornelas said the project was completed Oct. 30.
"They did it all," he said.
While Ornelas is glad to have the work completed, he said some of the work was a bit shoddy, including the polyurethane finish around many of the windows.
"It was kind of nonprofessional, but it got done," he said.
The good news is that with the lead removed, Ornelas could begin renting the house. One tenant has moved in and another is expected to sign a lease this week.
"Thank God," Ornelas said.
Still feeling burned: Carey Sue Ellens promised to give her new Frigidaire Affinity Series clothes dryer one month to see how it worked.
The results? Not encouraging.