In a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability case for the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP), Paul Nofer represented a homeless client who had suffered from mini-strokes and confusion. Due to his memory loss, the client had forgotten to attend his SSI hearing, which caused the appeal to be dismissed. Paul appealed the dismissal and had the case remanded—but not before confronting several challenges.
Although the client was homeless and exhibited confusion, he was able to “pull himself together,” and look, sound, and act professional in the hearings and for his consultative report interviews. The initial consultative report commissioned for the hearing thus stated that the client “had no limits in any area of his life.” Paul objected to the report, and was able to have a new report commissioned, building his case at a supplemental hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Paul invited witnesses from St. John’s Hospice, where the client had been receiving services, to testify as to the client’s confusion and inability to handle daily life functions.
Paul received a favorable verdict granting the client $23,000 in back benefits. “It was an honor to represent this gentleman and advocate before a judge who was willing to look beyond the expert opinions and instead trust the judgment of dedicated caretakers,” Paul noted.
About The Homeless Advocacy Project
The Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) collaborates with shelter providers, homeless advocates, community service providers, and the legal community to provide homeless clients with legal representation and to connect them with other social services. Each year, HAP holds over 100 legal clinics at 25 homeless shelters, transitional housing sites, overnight cafes, and soup kitchens in Philadelphia. Since HAP’s first legal clinic in December 1990, HAP’s 350 volunteers have helped more than 52,000 homeless people and have provided more than $86 million worth of free legal services to homeless clients. To learn more about HAP, please click here.