|Prairie State seeks 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|
1024 West Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174
|Volunteers may be a(n):||Attorney, Paralegal, Law Student, Non-Lawyer Volunteer, Law Student (1L, 2L, 3L) (711 License Preferred)|
|Population Served:||Multiple Lower Income Populations Served|
|Opportunity Type:||Legal Clinics|
|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.
|Skills I Will Acquire:||Client Counseling, Client/Witness Interviewing, Writing/Drafting Skills, Clerical Skills, Basic Legal Knowledge, Subject Matter Experience|
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.
Volunteers will receive initial in house training and ongoing training as requested or needed.
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.
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.
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