Helping People Obtain Needed Benefits
January 01, 2010
The Nassau-Suffolk Law Services Committee is a nonprofit, community-based poverty law program that regularly refers pro bono cases to Farrell Fritz. Many of these involve local residents who need help in receiving their deserved government benefits but are unable to afford a lawyer to help them.
Frank McRoberts, of Farrell Fritz’s Litigation practice group, handled one such case involving an indigent woman who was denied Social Security disability benefits despite a long history of serious psychological problems. Frank conferred with her treating physicians and therapists and built a case based on her medical records. He won the case. The client planned to use her disability payments to move into a government-subsidized apartment.
Another member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice group handled a similar case referred by the Nassau-Suffolk Lawyers Association.
The matter involved a woman living in a group home on the South Shore who had been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. She had a two year old who was placed in foster care because the mother was unable to care for her. The litigator, along with Art Feldman, a partner in the Tax Certiorari department, worked with the client and her physician to prepare her application for needed supplemental Social Security benefits. Tests were administered that indicated she had insufficient skills to maintain a job. After a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, she was granted the benefits she needed.