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Legal advocacy info

Carolyn Silver
Chief Program Officer

Legal Advocacy Projects + Issues

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Advance Directives

Our Legal Advocacy Department partners with volunteer attorneys to assist low-income older adults seeking legal counseling and assistance with the drafting and execution of one or more of their Advance Directives, including Powers of Attorney, Wills, Health Care Proxies and Living Wills. 

If you have questions about Advance Directives or are interested in being screened for these services, please call our intake hotline at 212-218-0503.

Eviction Prevention Project

Are you facing eviction? Are you behind on your rent? Our Legal Advocacy Department provides free legal services to help individuals and families remain in their homes and avoid eviction. If you live, work or access services in our catchment area (Manhattan’s East Side, from 59th Street up, and Roosevelt Island), and your income is below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines ($1,862/month for an individual; $2,522/month for a family of two; $3,182/month for a family of three), please attend one of our twice-a-month Walk-In Housing Intake sessions at 331 East 70th Street, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month. 

Learn more about our Walk-In Housing Intake sessions here.

Health Care Access Project

Led by Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives, Mia Kandel, Esq., the Health Care Access Project helps low-income families, disabled and older adults, and their caregivers, navigate and access critical health care benefits, including Medicaid, Medicare and health insurance on the NY State of Health Marketplace.  In light of the recent changes created by Federal Health Care Reform and the ongoing budget challenges that are affecting Medicaid recipients in New York State, the Health Care Access Project is an important resource for our clients and our community. We are excited to continue our important efforts to expand access to health care benefits through this initiative. 

For assistance enrolling in the most affordable and appropriate health insurance plan for you and your family, please call 212-218-0432

If you already have insurance and need assistance with your benefits or services, please call our intake hotline at 212-218-0503.

SCRIE Assistance

The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program can help low-income older adults remain in their homes by exempting them from future rent increases. If you are 62 years of age or older, live in a rent-regulated apartment, and have income below $50,000/year, you may be eligible for SCRIE. 

To find out if you are eligible, or for assistance applying or recertifying for SCRIE, please call 212-218-0503.

Special Pro Bono Projects

Our Legal Advocacy department appreciates the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and pro bono partners. 

Specifically, we acknowledge the commitment of our ongoing pro bono partners:

Bank of New York Mellon
CitiLegal Pro Bono Initiative
Dechert LLP
Kasowitz Benson
Katten Muchin Rosenman LP
Mayer Brown
Morgan Stanley
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges

Our legal program’s pro bono partnership with Mayer Brown was featured in the New York State Bar Association Pro Bono Newsletter. Click here to download and read article PDF.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Recent changes have expanded SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) eligibility in New York City, so more individuals and families are eligible for SNAP benefits than ever before. Our SNAP Advocate conducts confidential pre-screenings to determine whether clients are eligible and assists them in submitting their application.   

If you are interested in determining whether you are eligible for SNAP benefits, please call our SNAP Advocate at 212-218-0431. You can also come to our SNAP Assistance Clinic, which is held every Wednesday from 10 a.m.–1 p.m.  No appointment is needed.

Click here to download a PDF with more information about the SNAP Assistance Clinic, including the documentation you should bring with you for your SNAP pre-screening.