1724 Social Security Disability Advocacy Project -

  1. Referral for General Assistance - All General Assistance applicants and recipients must secure a Social Security advocate. The advocate will act on behalf of the individual in the Social Security disability application process. The advocate will provide representation and support for the client. The advocate can be an attorney or a non-attorney, but must be accepted by Social Security to act as the representative. The advocate is expected to assist with the initial application process, meet all Social Security deadlines timely and assist in completing appeal requests where needed.

    In order to ensure all General Assistance applicants retain advocacy services, the State of Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has entered into an agreement with Kansas Legal Services (KLS) to provide advocacy to General Assistance applicants and recipients at no cost to the beneficiary. Except for persons who have secured independent advocacy, cooperation with KLS is required for General Assistance.

    The following process is used for referring individuals to KLS:
    1. Explain the advocacy requirement to the applicant at the initial interview. If the client chooses private advocacy, obtain verification and a signed IAR. If the client chooses KLS, obtain a signed IS-3122, Referral to Kansas Legal Services, from the applicant. The eligibility worker will send the IS-3122 and a copy of the appropriate IAR to KLS. In both instances the original and a copy of the IAR must be sent to the Social Security Administration. A separate copy of the IAR will be sent to the SRS IAR Coordinator (See KEESM 2316 (2)). KLS must provide the eligibility worker with an initial appointment date to verify the cooperation requirement has been met.

    2. If the PMDT determines the applicant does not meet disability criteria, the PMDT will notify the SRS eligibility worker who will notify KLS of the determination and cease SRS supported services to the customer.
    3. The eligibility worker shall notify KLS of any other activity which could impact the KLS case. These include a change in address, case closure, etc
    4. KLS will notifythe eligibility worker of any changes in the client’s circumstances.
    5. SRS will receive any request to withdraw representation, including those related to client non-cooperation. KLS will coordinate with the eligibility worker regarding the request. KLS will not be allowed to withdraw based upon an assessment of success probability without an alternative mentoring or service plan approved by SRS.
    6. Responsibility for KHPA-funded representation through KLS ends when GA eligibility ends.
  2. Referral for TAF - Adult TAF applicants/recipients who are identified as potentially meeting Social Security disability requirements must cooperate in establishing this potential resource. SRS Regions may utilize the TAF Employment Services allocation to purchase Legal Representation and/or Mentoring services through a local provider agreement for TAF adult clients identified as potentially meeting Social Security disability requirements. KLS will not make local or regional contracts with SRS to represent or advocate on the behalf of TAF customers for SSI/SSDI determinations.

    Failure to cooperate in pursuing the potential eligibility for disability benefits without good cause shall result in ineligibility per 2124 and 2181. If the agency learns that a client has been denied as not meeting disability requirements or has not followed through with the disability determination process, contact with the client must be made to determine if good cause exists or to reevaluate the client’s need to utilize advocacy services.

    KLS may provide the Social Security Advocacy services for TAF children. For ongoing TAF cases with children, special procedures must be followed to identify children with disabilities who might qualify for SSI. A form IS-3122, Referral to Kansas Legal Services, must be used for this purpose. The referral form and should be sent to the appropriate KLS office with a copy kept for the paper file. KLS will then contact the family and assist in the SSI application process if deemed appropriate.

    A listing of the KLS area offices and the counties they serve is contained in the Web Links Section. The KLS office has the responsibility of contacting the client and insuring the client receives timely and adequate services. In addition, KLS will be responsible for notifying the agency of individual case activity as needed.