Government Benefits

For those who rely on government benefits to access food, health care, and housing, a disruption in benefits can be catastrophic.

Public benefits such as SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid, Medicare, disability benefits, and social security are managed by complex government systems. Many people who are eligible for benefits do not know they are eligible or how to apply. Applications for benefits are routinely incorrectly rejected and require advocacy. 

These benefits are lifelines to so many individuals and families experiencing poverty—veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, children, and many others—who rely on them to live full lives.


secured last year in ongoing yearly public benefits for our clients


Our lawyers help clients navigate intricate legal and administrative bureaucratic systems to access the critical services to which they are entitled. NYLAG’s lawyers can help in the following ways:

  • Advocating for homecare for seniors to allow them to live safely in their own homes
  • Navigating access to shelters for people without homes
  • Ensuring that individuals with disabilities receive benefits
  • Establishing economic stability for veterans
  • Working with immigrants to ensure access to health care, food, and housing

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Help us provide free legal services to children and adults in need of a lawyer.

NYLAG is part of the solution for people using government benefits.


NYLAG, Legal Aid, Dechert LLP, File Federal Class Action Lawsuit Against City for Failing to Process SNAP and Cash Assistance Applications and Recertifications, Forcing Thousands of Families to Face Food Instability

New York Legal Assistance Group, The Legal Aid Society, and Dechert LLP, filed a class action lawsuit against the New York City Department of Social Services and Human Resources Administration for failing to process applications and recertification for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and cash assistance within the 30-day timeframe required by federal and state law.

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Person wearing mask shops for groceries

New Yorkers sue city over delays to food stamps

NYLAG’s Abby Biberman is quoted in this piece in Gothamist about NYLAG’s class action lawsuit, along with the Legal Aid Society, on behalf of New Yorkers who were left without essential food and cash assistance because their applications weren’t processed in the 30 days required by federal law.

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The work of NYLAG’s Public Benefits Unit is partially funded by Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference). 

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