University Legal Services – Disability Benefits Attorney sought (temporary)

May 8, 2015

University Legal Services (ULS), a nonprofit protection and advocacy agency that advances the rights of DC residents with disabilities, seeks a law school graduate for a short-term, temporary position focusing on securing timely Social Security disability benefits for incarcerated women with mental illness who are preparing to return to the community. Our goal is to promote the successful integration into the community of DC residents with mental illness.

As part of the Women’s Resiliency and Reentry Project, the Benefits Specialist assists women with mental illness at Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) facilities, including halfway houses, and the DC Correctional Treatment Facility with prerelease applications for SSI and SSDI in preparation for their reentry. Responsibilities include:

– Managing existing caseload of filed applications, partially completed applications and possibly some filings for reconsideration.
– Identify and collect or develop medical evidence in support of claims for disability benefits.
– Prepare and submit memoranda to the Social Security Administration in support of claims for disability benefits, if needed.
– Act as liaison with the Social Security Administration to follow up benefits applications and advocate for applicants.
– Track project outcomes and produce regular reports for both internal and external use.

Compensation: The Benefits Specialist will be paid $25/hour, either full- or part-time for a maximum of approximately 300 hours between June 1 and August 14, 2015.

QUALIFICATIONS
– Required: JD degree
– Required: Ability to communicate and build rapport with women who have extensive trauma histories, serious and persistent mental illness, and criminal justice involvement, and    who are predominantly low-income and women of color.
– Required: Ability to communicate and work effectively as a proactive member of interdisciplinary team. Demonstrated competence in verbal, written, organizational and prioritization skills. Strong problem-solving skills and ability to troubleshoot challenging situations and creatively advance civil rights protections.
– Required: Familiarity and/or experience with SSI/SSDI eligibility and application process.
– Preferred: Experience working within a social justice or civil rights organization, or for a criminal defense law office, particularly one that serves homeless or incarcerated individuals.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send a cover letter, resume, and list of references electronically
no later than May 22, 2015 to:

Tammy Seltzer, Director
DC Jail & Prison Advocacy Project
University Legal Services
tseltzer@uls-dc.org
No calls please

Applications will be considered as soon as they are received.

ULS values diversity of culture, disability and other life experiences, and is an equal opportunity employer by choice. People with personal experience in the criminal justice system are welcome and encouraged to apply.

For more information please visit our website at www.uls-dc.org.

Tammy Seltzer, Esq.
Director, DC Jail & Prison Advocacy Project
University Legal Services
220 I Street, NE Suite 130
Washington, DC 20002
tseltzer@uls-dc.org
202-547-0198 x 121
202-547-2662 (fax)
202-547-2657 (TTY)

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