Social Security Disability Benefits Application Project (St. Charles)

Prairie State seeks attorney and non-attorney volunteers to meet with clients, discuss their cases, assess eligibility for and assist with applications for Social Security disability (SSI/SSDI) benefits.
Organization: Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. - St. Charles Office
Location: 1024 West Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174
Volunteers may be a(n): Attorney, Paralegal, Non-Lawyer Volunteer, Law Students - 711 License Preferred
Population Served: Disabled, Lower-Income Public
Opportunity Type: Client Intake/Interviewing/Advice
Practice Areas: Social Security/SSI
Time Commitment: 4-10 hours over a Week
Must be committed to volunteering a minimum of 3 months.
Business Hours Required.
Completed in short fixed time slots.
Completed at the volunteer's convenience.
Skills I Will Acquire: Client Counseling, Client/Witness Interviewing, Writing/Drafting Skills, Clerical Skills, Basic Legal Knowledge, Subject Matter Experience

Volunteer Opportunity Description

Applying for Social Security disability benefits is challenging. Applicants often fail to submit necessary medical evidence to establish disability, and many people are denied even though they are disabled and unable to work. Prairie State Legal Services' Disability Benefits Assistance Project is designed to help them qualify for the benefits they need at the initial application stage, rather than wait for the lengthy appeal process.  As a volunteer, you will interview clients to determine possible eligibility for disability benefits.  You will explain the disability determination process and answer client questions in layperson's terms.

You will help clients complete effective applications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.  You will collect and analyze medical and other documentation related to the client’s claim for disability benefits.  You will communicate with medical providers, social service agencies and the Social Security Administration on behalf of clients.  You will document your activities for clients in our client database. You will receive training to help you conduct these activities, including training in Social Security disability benefits eligibility and procedures.  You will receive support and supervision to enable you to conduct these volunteer activities.  

Training required:
Volunteers will receive initial training and ongoing training as requested or needed.

Skills Required
No subject matter experience or special legal skills required.


If you would like to apply for this opportunity, please log in or register. After your registration is approved (it may take up to 24 hours, longer on weekends), login and return to this opportunity to request that someone contact you. If you are a law student and register with a .edu email address, you will be immediately approved.

More About the Organization

Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. - St. Charles Office
1024 West Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174 View Map

Phone: 630-232-9415
Fax: 630-232-9402

Email this organization
View their website

Prairie State Legal Services is a non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal aid to low income individuals and seniors in 36 counties in northern and central Illinois, outside of Cook County. Prairie State is the only free legal aid provider in most of its service area. Prairie State's mission is to help its clients meet their basic human needs, such as housing, healthcare, basic income, and freedom from domestic violence. Prairie State serves a combination of suburban, mid-size urban, and rural counties from eleven local offices and a satellite office located in Bloomington, Galesburg, Joliet, Kankakee, McHenry, Ottawa, Peoria, Rockford, Rock Island, St. Charles, Waukegan, and Wheaton. Prairie State also has three special projects serving multiple service areas: the Legal Help for Homeowners Project, the Fair Housing Project, and the Low Income Tax Clinic. Over 100 employees, hundreds of volunteer private attorneys, and corporate attorneys from the legal departments of Caterpillar, State Farm Insurance, and Deere & Company help over 20,000 households each year. Prairie State's staff attorneys and in-house volunteer attorneys focus legal representation on the most urgent and time sensitive matters. Volunteer attorneys in the community offer critical legal representation for low income people with important legal matters which Prairie State is unable to handle in-house due to insufficient staffing or lack of expertise. Prairie State offers a wide range of opportunities for volunteer attorneys, including litigation and non-litigation based opportunities and opportunities that can be completed in a short, fixed time period. Prairie State screens each client to determine financial eligibility for Prairie State's services and legal merit before referring the client to a volunteer attorney.

Additional Information

  • This organization provides malpractice insurance for volunteers.
  • This organization provides research or clerking services.
    In-house volunteers have access to WestlawNext.
  • Volunteers at this organization may use the offices, office equipment, and supplies when handling a pro bono case.
  • This organization does provide a licensed attorney to support volunteers. Our staff attorneys are available to support volunteers.

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