Legal Aid Society

Health, Disability & HIV/AIDS

If you live with a chronic and/or critical illness or are facing other health challenges and are struggling to secure or keep health care services or income supports you need, our Health, Disability Advocacy and HIV/AIDS Representation (H/ARP) units should be able to provide you with assistance or a referral.

How To Get Help

Call our Access to Benefits Helpline at 888-663-6880 for assistance with a Medicaid, Medicare or other coverage denial or a federal disability benefit (SSI or SSDI) appeal. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Call our HIV/AIDS Representation Project’s helpline at 718-579-8989 if you are a person living with HIV/AIDS and need assistance with a legal matter.

Important Things To Know

What You Need to Know About NYRx (Medicaid Pharmacy Program)

Learn More

What You Need to Know About NYS Medicaid Expansion in 2023.

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HRA may collect overpayments of cash assistance benefits you may have received.

Learn More

Terms You Might Hear

The justice system can be overwhelming. Get familiar with some legal terms and acronyms you might hear like appeal, adjournment, petition, jurisdiction, deposition, and affidavit.

  • Adjournment – A temporary postponement of a case until a specified future time.
  • Attorney – A person admitted to practice law and authorized to perform criminal and civil legal functions on behalf of clients.
  • Beneficiary – Generally, a beneficiary is a person or entity who receives a profit, advantage, or benefit. For example, a person named to receive something in a will is a beneficiary under such will. Or refers to alien who has as a petitioner formally filing on their behalf to receive immigration benefits.
  • Child Health Plus – New York State's health insurance plan for children. You can apply for Child Health Plus through the New York State Health Marketplace.
  • Clerk – An official or employee of the court who maintains the files of each case, and issues routine documents.
  • DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. An American immigration policy that protects eligible immigrant youth who came to the U.S. when they were children from deportation and allows access to work permit.
  • Essential Plan – A new Insurance Affordability Program launched in 2016 that offers qualified individuals and families a choice of plans from high-quality private health insurers through the NY State of Heath.
  • Evidence – A form of proof or probative matter legally presented at the trial of an issue by the acts of the parties and through witnesses, records, documents, concrete objects, etc., for the purpose of inducing belief in the minds of the court or the jury.
  • Foster Care – A system in which a child lives with and is cared for by people who are not the child's parents for a period of time.
  • Landlord – A lessor of real property; the owner or possessor of an estate in land or a rental property, who, in an exchange for rent, leases it to another individual known as the tenant.
  • Lawyer – Someone whose job is to give advice to people about the law and speak for them in court.
  • Lien – A claim on specific property for payment of a debt.
  • Maintenance – Repair and upkeep in housing. OR Money or other financial support awarded to a spouse in a divorce action for his or her separate support. Also called spousal support or alimony.
  • Managed Care Plan – Managed care plans are a type of health insurance. They have contracts with health care providers and medical facilities to provide care for members at reduced costs.
  • Managed Long Term Care – Delivery of long–term services to people who are chronically ill or disabled and who wish to stay in their homes and communities.
  • Medicaid – A health insurance program for low-income and individuals with disabilities. Jointly paid for by the federal and state government.
  • Medicare – A federal health insurance program for people over 65, receiving Social Security Disability, or with end-stage renal disease.
  • Notice of Hearing – Notice of hearing is a prepared legal document that invokes the parties to hear a motion. It can be filed by either party and specifies the name of the judge, the time of the hearing, and the name of the courthouse.
  • Overpayment – The action of paying someone too much or an amount paid that is too much.
  • Public Charge – An immigration law that can be basis for denying a non-citizen entry in the U.S., or for denying an application to adjust status if they are applying through a family member.
  • Representative Payee – A representative payee is a person or an organization. The Social Security Administration appoints a payee to receive Social Security or SSI benefits for anyone who can’t manage or direct the management of their benefits.
  • Settlement – A written compromise reached by the parties and approved by a judge.
  • Social Security – A federal program that provides income, health insurance, and other benefits.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – A federal income supplement program designed to assist aged, blind, and disabled people with little to no income and to provide cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
  • T-VISA – An immigration visa allowing certain victims of human trafficking and immediate family members to remain and work in the U.S. temporarily.
  • TPS – Temporary Protective Status. Offers temporary legal status to certain immigrants in the United States who cannot return to their home country due to ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary reasons.
  • USCIS – United States Citizen and Immigration Services
  • Waive – To voluntarily give up a right. Examples include not enforcing the terms of a contract, or knowingly giving up a legal right such as a speedy trial.
  • Warrant – An official document approved by an authority (normally a judge) which gives the police permission to do certain things.