NYLAG’s Disability Advocacy Project (DAP) works to ensure that eligible disabled individuals receive benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. DAP provides free legal advice and representation when SSDI or SSI disability benefits are wrongfully denied or terminated.

Potential clients are interviewed concerning their medical conditions and symptoms, medications, treating providers, and work history. Advocates request and review medical records to determine if a case has merit on appeal. If it is determined that the evidence supports a determination of disability, then an advocate will represent the client at an administrative hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Advocates also provide advice and sometimes representation in regards to a termination or overpayment of benefits.

For more information contact: 212-613-5024.

Resources & Materials – Know Your Rights

Applying for SSA

SSA Nondisability Appeals of Terminations and Overpayments

Lump Sums and Supplemental Needs Trusts

SSI Burial Policies

Disabled Adult Child Benefits

Social Security Benefits Information: Family Law Matters

Dedicated Accounts

How to Represent Yourself at a Disability Hearing If You Do Not Have an Advocate

While the DAP team works diligently to represent as many people as possible, we cannot represent everyone that calls us for help. Therefore, we have put together some information to help people represent themselves at disability hearings if they cannot find an advocate:

How to Represent Yourself at a Hearing Advice Sheet

If the Appeals Council denies review of the judge’s decision, you can file an appeal in federal court even if you do not have an attorney. More information is available here:

Federal Court Pro Se Advice

You can ask your doctor and/or psychiatrist to complete these forms describing your conditions:

Medical Assessment Form

Psychiatric Assessment Form

Child Assessment Form

If your doctors complete these forms, you must submit them to SSA’s Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) even if the forms are not 100% supportive of your disability claim.

The contact information for your local hearing office can be found here: https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/ho_locator.html

In addition, these completed forms are not a substitute for your medical records and you should make sure to request and submit your medical and psychiatric records to OHO as well.