Social Security SDNY Project
The Problem: Each year, the Social Security Administration rejects hundreds of thousands of people who apply for benefits, on the grounds that they are not disabled. There is an appeal process within the agency, and many Social Security claimants use it to appeal the denials of their applications. Individuals who have lost at all steps of the administrative process have the right to file civil actions in the United States District Court, and nearly 20,000 people do so each year. Many of these litigants do not have lawyers and are left to navigate a federal appeals process on their own.
How NYCLA Helps
In partnership with the SDNY Pro Se Office, NYCLA works to train and match volunteers with individuals who are appealing their denial of benefits. Volunteers review the record and help file motions for judgments on the pleadings, which are accompanied by memoranda of law. Briefs are sometimes accompanied by oral argument, before the District Judge issues a decision. With our help, litigants stand a fighting chance to receive highly needed benefits.