Three agencies in Western New York will receive a portion of the $7 million awarded by the state to provide legal assistance to those who have been denied disability benefits, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance announced on Monday.
A total of $6.8 million will be awarded through the Disability Advocacy Program to 12 agencies so that those who have lost benefits can have legal advocates as they continue through the federal appeal process. Services will be provided by not-for-profit legal services corporations and agencies with the goal of reversing the decision.
The Erie County Department of Social Services will receive $162,242, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York Inc. will receive $532,274, and Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. will receive $313,720.
“Providing this vital support enables individuals in need of assistance to have continued access to services without interruption,” said Samuel D. Roberts, OTDA commissioner.
Disability benefits could include Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability insurance, and the Supplemental Security Income State Supplementation Program.