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Disability Advocacy Program

The Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) originally was established by Chapter 627 of the Laws of 1983, adding Section 35 of the Social Services Law, which provides for the legal representation of individuals whose federal disability benefits have been denied or may be discontinued. Pursuant to the statutory provisions, the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) makes grants to not-for-profit legal services corporations, not-for-profit agencies serving the disabled and social services districts to provide for such representation. N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law §35 (McKinney 2003).

This website is designed primarily for advocates throughout New York who are funded under the DAP grant.

OTDA reports to the New York Legislature biennial on the DAP program. For the most recent report, click here.



ARTICLES

DAPWorks for NYS
DAPWorks for NYS is a statewide campaign seeking to increase funding for the Disability Advocacy Program (DAP). Read More

Disability Advocacy Program Funding Increased in State Budget
We are pleased to announce that the enacted budget includes a total of $5.26 million in funding for the DAP program! Read More

Good News! Increased funding for the Disability Advocacy Program.
For the first time in a decade, the Disability Advocacy Program, which helps disabled individuals access federal SSI/SSD benefits, received an increase- not a cut- in the budget. Read More


Disability Advocacy Program: Articles



IN THE NEWS

Statewide Advocates Celebrate 30th “Birthday” of Disability Advocacy Program, Calling for Renewed Investment
Members of DAPWorks, a statewide campaign led by Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) advocates and members of the New York State Senate and Assembly, gathered today at the State Capitol in Albany to celebrate three decades of successful advocacy on behalf of low income disabled New Yorkers in need of financial support. Lauding over $1 billion brought into the state by the program during that time, and 208,000 clients served, speakers urged an additional $2.24 million investment above the $4.76 million included in the Executive Budget to allow them to assist more people. Read More

Significant Victories in State Budget to Benefit Struggling New Yorkers
After an initial review of the budget agreement struck by the Governor and Legislative leaders this week, the Empire Justice Center declared victory on several important initiatives that will have a positive impact on New Yorkers who are struggling financially. Read More




POLICY ADVOCACY

Empire Justice Testimony at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearing: Human Services
Empire Justice testimony at the Human Services Joint Budget Hearing on February 4, 2014. Read More

"Unfit" for NPR - Let's Get the Facts Straight on Disability
Members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and the SSI Coalition for Children and Families, joined by the Coalition on Human Needs, the Children's Leadership Council, and other organizations, are concerned that a series recently aired on National Public Radio ("Unfit for Work: The Startling Rise of Disability in America and accompanying The American Life episode "Trends With Benefits," both reported by Chana Joffe-Walt) paints a misleading and inaccurate picture of the Social Security programs that serve as a vital lifeline for millions of Americans with severe disabilities. Read More


Disability Advocacy Program: Policy Advocacy




NEWSLETTERS

Disability Law News - June 2014
Empire Justice Center's quarterly newsletter Read More

Disability Law News - December 2013
Empire Justice Center's quarterly newsletter for disability advocates. Read More




TRAINING AND EVENTS

Now Playing: DAP Advocate vs. the Vocational Expert - A Hearing Experience
This mock Social Security hearing gives viewers a sense of how to present vocational evidence at a hearing. "Actors" assume the roles of ALJ, the claimant, and the vocational expert (VE). Using the hypothetical case scenario of a young adult (18-25 years old) with musculoskeletal and mental impairments, an experienced advocate will demonstrate direct examination of the claimant and a cross-examination of the VE. Read More