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Legal Aid

March 4, 2010

Cindy Battles

This post was contributed by Cindy Battles, a freelance writer based in Rutland, VT who’s been diagnosed with and managing bipolar disorder for many years.

As an intern at Vermont Legal Aid several years ago, I remember witnessing a specific case for an appeal of a denial for Social Security Disability.

The client’s disability caused her chronic pain and fatigue which prevented her from holding down a job. She could barely even take care of her kids and house. Thankfully, her Legal Aid lawyer successfully argued on her behalf and she was granted Disability. Not surprisingly, the client burst into tears upon the outcome. The way she thanked and thanked her lawyer showed me firsthand how powerful Legal Aid work really was.

As a person with a disability, should you ever find yourself in need of legal guidance, Legal Aid services offices exist around the country — and often around the corner. Depending upon your state and eligibility, from counsel and advice, to brief service and full representation to eligible clients and their family members, you can get help — and there is no charge. In fact, Legal Aid might just be able to help you improve your life.

Services include assistance with special education, guardianship, access to health care, transportation, developmental services, and assistive technology, disability-based discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, SSI/SSDI terminations based on disability, abuse, neglect and exploitation, vocational rehabilitation, and more.

What’s more is, the Legal Aid attorneys I worked for were not only talented and professional but also kind. I will never forget the opportunity of working alongside them and how the power of their work in helping others has regularly inspired me to give back as well. I continue to volunteer but these folks, for their good legal work, will always be my everyday heroes.


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