of the Protection and Advocacy program for Beneficiaries
of Social Security (PABSS) at University Legal Services
(ULS) is to ensure that people with disabilities are
afforded the full rights and entitlements accorded to
them by the Constitution, local, and federal law. Among
these rights are the rights to self-determination, to
be free from harm, to be afforded due process, to develop
physically, emotionally, and intellectually, and to
be included in community life with the opportunities
and choices these rights imply.
The following priorities and objectives reflect ULS’
commitment to remove barriers to securing, maintaining,
or regaining gainful employment for beneficiaries of
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental
Security Income (SSI).
1. Assist beneficiaries with disputes before the Social
Security Administration (SSA) involving work-related
benefit decisions that are clearly a barrier to securing,
maintaining, or regaining gainful employment.
a. Advocate for correct application of work incentive
programs related to SSI and SSDI, including trial-work
periods (TWP), extended periods of eligibility (EPE),
impairment-related work expenses (IRWE), Plan for Achieving
Self-Support (PASS), continuing Medicaid coverage, and
other programs that can assist with employment.
b. Assist beneficiaries in disputes before SSA related
to overpayments that impede beneficiaries’ ability
to secure, maintain, or regain employment.
2. Advocate against employment discrimination that
serves as a barrier to work for SSI and SSDI beneficiaries
through direct representation, outreach and education,
and alternative dispute resolution.
3. Assist beneficiaries in securing access to meaningful
opportunities to prepare for employment that is consistent
with their interests, preferences, and capabilities.
a. Provide technical assistance to Employment Network
providers participating in the Ticket to Work Program
regarding the rights of, and services and supports for,
individuals with disabilities.
b. Advocate for access to Medicaid-funded, employment-related
programs that lead to competitive employment at competitive
c. Provide information, referral, and advocacy services
regarding services and supports that may impact a beneficiary’s
ability to obtain, maintain, or retain employment, including
but not limited to transportation services, personal
care assistants, childcare, assistive technology, and
4. Conduct outreach and provide education and training
to beneficiaries of Social Security, government agencies,
employers and educators, and providers of transition
services to inform them of the availability of work
incentives and employment programs in both the public
and private sectors.
5. Investigate and review complaints of improper and
inadequate services provided to beneficiaries with disabilities
by service providers, employers, or other entities involved
in the return to work efforts.
CASE SELECTION CRITERIA
ULS accepts cases for Social Security beneficiaries
who reside in the District of Columbia and whose complaint
falls within the aforementioned priorities.
While we recognize that every situation is important,
please note that case acceptance is dependent upon available
resources, including staff time. If your case is not
accepted and you wish to file a grievance, please submit
your grievance in writing to the Executive Director.
Current clients may also submit a grievance to the Executive
Director about the quality of ULS’ representation.
A client may lodge an oral grievance with a ULS staff
member who shall put the grievance in writing and submit
it to the Executive Director. The Executive Director
may be reached at:
Jane Brown, Executive Director
University Legal Services
220 I Street, N.E., Suite 130
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 547-0198 Phone
(202) 547-2662 Fax
(202) 547-2657 TTY
The Executive Director shall respond in writing within
thirty (30) days of receipt of a grievance from any
client or prospective client, or community member who
has an interest in the operation of the protection and
A grievant may appeal the Executive Director’s
decision to the ULS Board of Directors within ten (10)
days of the written decision of the Executive Director.
The decision of the ULS Board of Directors shall be
final and not subject to further appeal or review. Client
confidentiality shall be maintained.
The Executive Director shall report grievances to the
Board of Directors annually.