Monday, August 29, 2016

State Grant Will Help Disabled New Yorkers Fight for Benefits

Denial rates of Social Security Disability claims is at one of its highest points in history.  It is common for some administrative law judges (ALJ's) to approve only 25% to 30% of the cases that they hear.  Due to the high odds of loosing a Social Security Disability case, many disabled claimants are going through the system unrepresented.  This lack of legal representation has lead to many abuses within the system particularly against individuals who are indigent and suffer from intellectual limitations and mental illness. 
Fortunately, the State of New York has announced a $8.2 million grant to assist claimants in the pursuit of benefits such as Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance and other similar Federal programs.  Commissioner Samuel Roberts of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance of the State of New York is pleased with the results that the "Disability Advocacy Program" has brought to New Yorkers.  From July 2014 to July 2015 approximately $17 million in benefits were generated for disabled recipients.
Several great non-profit legal legal advocacy organizations are currently participating in this grant. Here is a partial list of the organizations:
  • Legal Services NYC has received $2.29 million -  the largest amount.
  • The Empire Justice Center will provide services in 13 western New York counties.  They will also administer the statewide advocacy program.  The total grant of this organization is $1 million.
  • The Urban Justice Center will receive $819,189
  • New York Legal Assistance Group $794,528
  • Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Committee  $676,858
  • Legal Aid Society if Mid-New York $628,522
  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York $619,023
  • Legal Services of the Hudson Valley $558,493
  • Meighbohood Legal Services $526,371
  • Erie County Department of Social Services $162,242
  • Legal Aid Society of Rockland County $105,323