Government Benefits

For those who rely on government benefits to access food, health care, and housing, a disruption in benefits can be catastrophic.

Public benefits such as SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, Medicare, disability benefits, and social security are managed by complex government systems. Many people who are eligible for benefits do not know they are eligible or how to apply. Applications for benefits are routinely incorrectly rejected and require advocacy. 

These benefits are lifelines to so many individuals and families experiencing poverty—veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, children, and many others—who rely on them to live full lives.


secured last year in ongoing yearly public benefits for our clients


Our lawyers help clients navigate intricate legal and administrative bureaucratic systems to access the critical services to which they are entitled. NYLAG’s lawyers can help in the following ways:

  • Advocating for homecare for seniors to allow them to live safely in their own homes
  • Navigating access to shelters for people without homes
  • Ensuring that individuals with disabilities receive benefits
  • Establishing economic stability for veterans
  • Working with immigrants to ensure access to health care, food, and housing

Need free legal services or financial counseling?​

Help us provide free legal services to children and adults in need of a lawyer.

NYLAG is part of the solution for people using government benefits.

Image of a group of people with garbage bags outside a hotel.

Homeless New Yorkers Belong in Hotels Now

In this New York Daily News op-ed, NYLAG’s Deborah Berkman asserts the benefits of placing those experiencing homelessness in hotels and denounces residents of NY’s Upper West Side who deem this placement as a threat.

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In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are still working hard and our intake lines are open, but please note that our physical office is closed.

During these unprecedented times, we’ve launched a free NY COVID-19 Legal Resources Hotline and compiled the latest legal and financial counseling updates.