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Legal Assistance

1 in 6 people need “legal care” to be well. 

 

Homeless Outreach Project

This program focuses on providing strategic benefits advocacy to  help individuals who are homeless, in large part due to years of profound trauma and undiagnosed and/or untreated mental health conditions to obtain awards of Social Security disability benefits (SSI and SSDI). These cash awards help individuals adhere to medical treatment plans and live stable and integrated lives in the community.  They also represent a significant economic impact into the community. Since inception, the program has facilitated awards of over $5 million, representing a powerful social and economic return.

AIDS Legal Council

This program provides legal assistance in cases where an individual’s HIV status—real or perceived—is the cause of his or her legal difficulties. We assist clients with discrimination cases, insurance disputes, return-to-work questions, and confidentiality issues. We help those who come to us because they are too ill to work and need assistance applying for public benefits. We provide legal help to immigrants with HIV who want to normalize their status in the United States. And we help clients who need to write wills, powers of attorney, or guardianships to guarantee that their loved ones will be cared for in case of serious illness or death. We still hear of employers who believe that people with HIV are a danger in the workplace, health providers who test people for HIV without their permission, and nursing homes that turn clients away because they are living with HIV. We intervene for these HIV-affected clients, demanding what they are entitled to and restoring their dignity. We also hear of businesses reluctant to hire someone with HIV because of what they fear it will do to their health insurance costs. We see sixth-grade dropouts with HIV and schizophrenia who need help navigating the bureaucracy of Social Security so they can get the benefits needed to pay for food and shelter. We help people with HIV, surprised to have survived to their 65th birthday, who wonder how Medicare is going to affect their access to their HIV medications. We meet with young immigrants with HIV who fear that they will not qualify for Dream Act relief because of their HIV status. We provide legal services for these types of cases and others that are caused by a person’s HIV-positive status. If you are affected by HIV, just call us at 312-427-8990. We are here to help you.

While most of our clients are low-income residents of Cook County, we provide certain services to people outside of Cook County. If you are HIV+ and live anywhere in Illinois, call us with your legal questions. We will try to answer them. If we are unable to do so, we will direct you to others who can.

 Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children

The program assists some of the most at-risk and medically complex children and their families in Illinois who have a combination of social, medical, and educational needs; such as problems accessing health insurance, Medicaid, children’s SSI, Early Intervention, and special education. More than one-third of clients experience problems accessing special education or early intervention services and supports. Most of the families and individuals we serve would never access legal assistance unless they were referred to us by medical staff or because they can have face-to-face meetings with our staff who are co-located at partnership sites.

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