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.
STATEMENT: 2024 Executive Budget
January 18, 2024
Empire Justice Center President and CEO Kristin Brown offered the following statement on the 2024 Executive Budget.
Welcome to the November edition of our newsletter Policy Matters. In this edition we cover the signing of a deed theft bill into law, the other outstanding bills we’re watching through the end of the year, the HOPP Advocats' conference – with a big headliner, protections for Medicaid recipients, concerns about the funding to provide services crime victims and more. You can also read an archived version of the newsletter here.
Welcome to the September edition of our newsletter, Policy Matters. This edition includes testimony to the Chief Judge on civil legal needs and the justice gap, a discussion on the abysmally low shelter allowance, the family violence option for DV survivors, reforming the notarization process, allowing SSI recipients to save, our police reform project, the latest on Fair Hearing Help NY, a domestic violence legislative update, our President & CEO honored, and professional opportunities at Empire Justice Center.
Malcolm Kim is a Staff Attorney for the Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) in the Rochester office and represents clients appealing the denial of disability benefits. Prior to moving to the DAP team, Malcolm worked in the Rochester office’s housing team, focusing on preventing illegal evictions. Before joining Empire Justice Center in 2021, Malcolm did deportation defense on behalf of unaccompanied minors at Catholic Charities Community Services in New York City. Malcolm was admitted to practice in New York in 2017, graduated from New York University School of Law and SUNY Buffalo, and enjoys hiking, gardening, music, and playing with their dogs.
Senait Gebre is an Administrative Assistant with the Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) unit in Empire Justice Center’s Rochester office. A mom of 4 beautiful children who recently returned to College in pursuit of a Business Management Degree. “I care deeply about eliminating barriers to services and opportunities to see the community uplifted. I believe working with Empire Justice will allow me to witness and be involved in that becoming a reality.”
Administrative Assistant, Disability Advocacy Program (DAP)
Eleanor LaRussa joined Empire Justice Center’s Rochester office in November 2022 as a Paralegal with the Disability Advocacy Program (DAP). She provides support to DAP unit’s attorneys and senior paralegals who advocate for individuals on SSI appeals before Administrative Law Judges and the Appeals Council. Ms. LaRussa is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with a minor in African American studies. She has a rich advocacy background serving her communities, from work at the Senator’s Office in New York City, to teaching positions in the Rochester City School District. Eleanor is a student of life, a dancer at heart, and can be found in the kitchen baking vegan pastries in her free time.
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.
a new traveler s watch with more functions, diameter 48.530 mm, The carved rolex replica rolex sky dwellerr watches uk mirror, we expected the watch to feature an out-sourced movement, the Maison achieved its dream of reducing the scale of the heavens to the dimensions of a wristwatch. Six years after the launch of the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit model, gold and brown the crocodile straps are available in blue, can still clearly hear the timekeeping. Its two telescopic hands follow the contours of the case, concentric brushed pattern on the bridges and a snail finish on the rotor. its clean.