The Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) originally was established by Chapter 627 of the Laws of 1983, adding Section 35 of the Social Services Law, which provides for the legal representation of individuals whose federal disability benefits have been denied or may be discontinued. Pursuant to the statutory provisions, the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) makes grants to not-for-profit legal services corporations, not-for-profit agencies serving the disabled and social services districts to provide for such representation. N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law §35 (McKinney 2003).
This website is designed primarily for advocates throughout New York who are funded under the DAP grant. OTDA reports to the New York Legislature biennial on the DAP program.
Disability Law News – April 2020
April 30, 2020
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. In this issue, we highlight the Covid-19 crisis and discuss how the Social Security Administration (SSA) and advocates are responding to COVID-19 in several fronts. In the Regulations section, the inability to speak English is eliminated from the Grid Rules. Also in this issue, are new Court Decisions, the 2020 Deeming Chart and new Waterfall Chart. Finally, we summarize several recently released reports that may be of interest. The Bulletin Board has also been updates with new Supreme Court and Second Circuit Decisions.
In this edition we’ll be catching you up on our state budget advocacy, the importance of foreclosure protection, the Gender Recognition Act, pushing back against harmful proposed Social Security regulations, and more.
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. In this issue, we highlight Stacey v. Commissioner, another favorable Social Security decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on the treating physician rule. Also in this issue, check out the Regulations section for several newly revised and issued regulations, Court Decisions and Administrative Decisions for summaries of recent decisions. Finally, we summarize recent updates to clarifying procedures within the Centralized Scheduling Unit (CSU). The Bulletin Board has also been updates with new Supreme Court and Second Circuit Decisions.
Emilia Sicilia is a Senior Staff Attorney and Statewide Coordinator of the Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) at the Empire Justice Center in Yonkers, New York, where she focuses on Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Her work includes systemic advocacy and impact litigation. She currently serves as co-counsel to plaintiffs in Amin v. Berryhill, a lawsuit challenging the failure of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to process non-disability appeals. Prior impact litigation experience includes the class actions Martinez v. Astrue and Clark v. Astrue, which challenged SSA’s policy of suspending and denying benefits based on an outstanding warrant, and Padro v. Astrue, which charged the denial of due process and anti-claimant bias by five administrative law judges in SSA’s Queens hearing office Emilia has represented numerous clients before the Social Security Administration and in federal court. She presented trainings for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR), the New York State Bar Association, several NYC legal services and advocacy organizations, and the Hunter College School of Social Work.Previously, Emilia worked at the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and Wesleyan University.
Welcome to the May edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. A lot has happened since our last edition, which came out in early March, just as COVID-19 was beginning to first show up in New York. Empire Justice spent the month of March, as many of us did, trying to pivot to a new normal while keeping our organization on track. This edition we’ll be filling you in on what some of that work has looked like.