Types of Cases
The Disability Law Center may be able to help you if you are a person with a disability and have a legal issue related to the disability.
The following are examples of issues/problem areas generally pursued by the Disability Law Center:
- Social Security applications and some higher-level appeals;
- Disability-related employment discrimination;
- Medicaid/Medicare appeals;
- Disability-related housing discrimination;
- Disability-related financial exploitation;
- Access to appropriate Special Education programs;
- Physical barriers/access to businesses or services;
- Complaints about the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) or an Independent Living Center;
- Access to voting.
Within available resources and consistent with agency priorities* and case selection factors, the Disability Law Center may:
- Respond to complaints of abuse, neglect or denial of rights;
- Provide self-advocacy training and education for consumers, family members, service delivery professionals, constituency groups, and the community;
- Intervene or assist individuals to advocate for their own rights;
- Provide legal representation if the problem cannot be resolved using other strategies;
- Organize workshops and distribute materials on legal rights, special education, public benefits, and other topics;
- Provide information on the rights of people with physical and/or mental disabilities and make referrals when appropriate.
*Priorities are established each year based upon public comment.
The following are examples of issues/problems NOT generally pursued by the Disability Law Center:
- Divorce, custody, support, and other family law matters.
- Wills, trusts, and estate planning.
- Criminal issues/proceedings.
- Legal or medical malpractice.
- Workers' Compensation or collective bargaining.
- Products liability.
- Indian/Tribal law.
- Native Allotments.
- Subsistence issues
- Automobile accidents/traffic violations.
- Consumer protection.
- General Tax matters.
- Pension and ERISA issues.
- Property disputes or real estate.
- Insurance disputes.
Services Available from DLC
The type of service we provide is based on the unique facts and circumstances of your situation. The following intervention strategies are used by the Disability Law Center advocates and attorneys after a person has been deemed eligible and a case has been opened:
Includes coaching in self-advocacy, explaining the service system and other methods for you to independently resolve your complaint.
Informal, non-legal intervention (letters, calls and/or meetings with others) is used to resolve your reported problem. At this level you may receive assistance from an advocate writing a letter or making calls on your behalf and you may be accompanied to a meeting by an advocate.
Formal advocacy strategy involving hearings, grievances, or complaints with federal or state administrative agencies. Examples are Office of Civil Rights complaints, Social Security Administration hearings, Special Education due process hearings, Medicaid hearings, etc. At this level you would be accompanied by an advocate to any meetings or hearings.
Formal legal representation for litigation in federal or state court. Up until this level, you may have been working solely with an advocate. At this point you will be assigned an attorney to represent you.
Class Action Lawsuits
Formal legal representation of a group of clients with similar issues in litigation in federal or state court.
This includes all actions other than those described above (e.g. participation in conciliation proceedings, public hearings, arbitration proceedings, etc.).
NOTE: More than one of these strategies may be necessary to resolve your complaint.