Who better to replace Louise Tarantino than Emilia Sicilia? Emilia will become a DAP Coordinator this fall. Emilia is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. She has been a DAP advocate at the Urban Justice Center in NYC since 2006, serving as Director of Disability Benefits Advocacy since 2012. She is well-known to the DAP community, having served as a trainer at various Partnership Conferences and other events.
Emilia comes to the Empire Justice Center with substantial litigation experience, in both individual claims and impact cases. She is currently co-counsel in Amin v. Colvin, a lawsuit pending against the Social Security Administration for its failure to docket non-disability appeals. She worked on the successful Padro litigation, a class action against SSA for systematic denial of due process. And she worked with co-counsel on Martinez v. Astrue, a national class action against SSA for automatically denying and suspending benefits based only on a warrant. She also has invaluable experience advocating with SSA, including on issues involving SSA’s evaluation of trauma in disability claims.
Emilia’s colleagues praise her for attributes strikingly similar to those of her predecessor Louise Tarantino. She is warm, friendly, thoughtful, and willing to listen. She is well-organized and a hard-worker. And above all, she is a smart and fierce advocate.
Emilia is honored to take over Louise’s role and hopes to follow in her footsteps. According to Emilia, she has been the beneficiary of much support and guidance from Louise. In particular, Emilia recalls the time Louise was tasked with introducing her at a large conference session. Emilia’s co-presenter fell ill at the last minute, leaving Emilia as a lone speaker. Without missing a beat, Louise took a seat next to Emilia for the rest of the session, offering her support and wealth of knowledge.
Emilia will work out of the Yonkers office of the Empire Justice Center. We look forward to her joining State-wide Coordinator Kate Callery of the Empire Justice Center and NYC Coordinator Ann Biddle of LSNYC.