Community Legal Advocates of New York
Advocating for All Communities

Public Benefit successes

Benefits Successes

Rodrigo went from being homeless to living in his own apartment. 

Rodrigo is a Lawful Permanent Resident who lost his Green Card when he was evicted from his home in 2012. After a work-place accident left him disabled, he was unable to pay his rent and lost many important documents when his landlord evicted him. His Green Card is the only proof of his legal immigration status.  Without proof of his status, Rodrigo could not obtain the public assistance to which he’s eligible, including a rent subsidy. Since he was evicted and lost his Green Card, Rodrigo has been homeless, taking shelter at his local community church, unable to find steady housing because he was constantly denied benefits by the Nassau County Department of Social Services.  The church eventually helped him pay the fee to apply for a new Green Card, but the application is still pending. Rodrigo met CLA’s Attorney-in-Charge, Keiko, at the Mary Brennan INN Soup Kitchen in early 2017. Keiko immediately contacted Immigration about why Rodrigo’s replacement card was taking so long and learned that there was no particular problem, just a long backlog of processing applications. Keiko also advocated with the Department of Social Services on Rodrigo’s behalf, explaining that he had the requisite immigration status even if he didn’t have a current Green Card. As a result of Keiko’s advocacy, Rodrigo is receiving all the public benefits to which he is entitled and is in the process of moving into a new apartment. 

Marco is the father of two special needs, minor children who were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for about a year before the benefits were inexplicably reduced and eventually cut off. For months, Marco tried to obtain answers from Social Security Administration (SSA) and have his children’s benefits reinstated. Adding insult to injury, SSA was trying to recoup money previously disbursed, claiming there had been an overpayment. After about 2 months of trying to resolve the issue alone, Marco found it difficult to pay his rent and was tired of opening collection notices.  He then came to CLA for assistance.

CLA represented Marco in a Reconsideration Hearing before the SSA. At the hearing, CLA was able to provide proof that the benefits were wrongfully terminated.  Marco's children were eligible, and had always been eligible, for the benefits they were receiving. As a result, the original amount was reinstated and the overpayment was waived.  Within one month of contacting CLA, Marco's family had their much-needed income restored and no longer needed to worry about the government trying to collect an erroneous debt. 

Marco's children's  SSI was reinstated and an overpayment was cancelled.

Bianca obtained the public assistance she deserved.

Bianca was a mother of eight, living in fear of her abusive husband while struggling to secure stable housing and provide for her children.  New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) wrongfully denied her family public benefits for 6 years before working with Keiko. Bianca was tired of the endless HRA appointments that never resulted in additional benefits for her family. Keiko was able to obtain Public Assistance for the family going forward and retroactively for the entire 6 year period. Additionally, Keiko was able to get her eviction proceeding dismissed which allowed the family to stay in their home. In Family Court, Keiko was able to secure an Order of Protection against Bianca’s husband and establish custody of all 8 of her children.  Bianca’s family has a more stable life because of the holistic legal services she received.

James was diagnosed with a learning disability and intellectual limitations as a boy and was approved for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) as child. However, when he turned 18, his SSI was cut off because children are evaluated under different standards than adults. James’s mother always cared for him, but she passed away when he was 17. James applied for SSI as an adult, but his application was denied. Because of his limitations, James was not able to handle an appeal of the SSI denial on his own. Ann represented James on the appeal, working with his doctors to gather the evidence necessary to establish that James was entitled to SSI as an adult. The appeal was successful and James was awarded almost $8,000 in back benefits as well as monthly SSI benefits going forward.

James was approved for SSI.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.