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Independant Services

KEY - Knowledge, Empowers, YouRCIL’s advocates provide active support and guidance for people with disabilities, and help to ensure that an individual’s choices for living independently are respected.

Information is power. RCIL’s advocates work to ensure that you have all the information you need to be able to make well informed choices and take control of your own life.

Advocacy also strives to influence policies and structures that create artificial boundaries for people with disabilities and works to ensure that there is equal access for all.

How can an advocate help you? Advocates can answer questions and provide assistance with applications for Social Security Disability and SSI, Temporary Assistance, HEAP, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and housing. Advocates can also assist recipients of DSS with understanding sanctions and the steps for Fair Hearings.

Information & Referral:

  • Do you need suggestions or documentation to assist with a disability issue?
  • Are you looking for help for yourself or family member?
  • Would you like to talk to someone who can help you find the services you need?

Department of Social Services:

  • Assist with Food Stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance Applications.
  • Answer questions as you go through the process.
  • Determine if the Medicaid Savings Plan can assist with paying for your Medicare Part B Premium.
  • Assist with the HEAP application process.

Social Security image of disability claim formSocial Security:

  • Assistance with SSI/SSDI applications.
  • Do you have an overpayment, we can review your situation.

Community Supplemental Needs Medicaid Trust:

  • Individuals with disabilities who have too much money to qualify for Medicaid can put the extra money into a special bank account called a Supplemental Needs Pooled Trust. People over the age of 65 can use this trust to pay a Medicaid “spend down.” A Pooled trust is the only trust option for disabled persons over the age of 65 who have income or assets which are above the established Medicaid limits.

Olmstead plan image of hands around a small toy houseNY State Olmstead Plan:

  • Do you or a family member want to transition out of a Nursing Home or an Assisted Living Facility?  We can help you begin this process.
  • Do you want to stay out of a Nursing Home?  We can give you options to see which one would be best for you and/or a member of your family. 
  • Know your rights!

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

  • Do you think your rights have been violated?
  • Do you want to know what your options are?
  • Do you know how to file a complaint?

Meeting Basic Needs:

  • Are you homeless or sleeping on a friend’s couch?
  • Do you need assistance in finding food?
  • What services might you be eligible for that you don’t know about?

Do You Need an American Sign Language Interpreter?:

  • Everyone deserves to be understood! Is there any area of your life where being understood is optional? No matter where you find yourself, being able to clearly communicate is at least, a basic expectation, and occasionally, a matter of life and death.
  • RCIL can help connect you with a certified American Sign Language Interpreter in your local area. 
  • Do you know what your rights are? Are you responsible for bringing an interpreter or should one be provided for you? Contact an advocate today to find out! 

This document was developed under grant CFDA 93.778 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.