Disability Income Paralegal
Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia (CLS) is a non-profit public interest agency providing free civil legal services to low-income Philadelphia residents. As the largest provider of free civil legal services in the Philadelphia area, CLS is both locally and nationally renowned as a premier legal services provider dedicated to ensuring access to justice for all low-income individuals and communities. CLS has ten legal units and projects covering a wide range of civil legal services
CLS is seeking a full-time paralegal for its SSI Unit. CLS’s SSI Unit helps families affected by disability qualify for the income supports that they need to thrive.
SSI is a Social Security program for people with disabilities. CLS’s SSI Unit provides full legal representation at all stages of the SSI application process, including during informal disability reviews, at formal administrative hearings, and in federal court. The Unit also represents current SSI recipients whose disabilities are under review by SSA. CLS prioritizes cases for people with serious behavioral health conditions, including trauma; immigrants and people who are limited English proficient; and children. CLS ensures that clients are connected to medical care, school supports, and other resources, and advocates for policy reforms that make the SSI program work better for everyone.
CLS’s SSI Unit also helps families qualify for other federal income programs for which they are eligible. For example, the SSI Unit helps families qualify for the expanded child tax credit through outreach and community education; connection to tax filing; and formal and informal engagement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The SSI Unit draws from our clients’ experiences to urge Congress, IRS, and other government agencies to make the program more accessible for the lowest-income families.
JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
While the duties of the paralegal position will vary based on the needs of the SSI Unit, the position will involve:
- Client interviews and other frequent communications with clients and government agencies, both verbally and in writing, about issues that arise during the clients’ cases
- Identifying, requesting, pursuing, tracking, and organizing medical and other evidence to support clients’ SSI claims
The ideal candidate will have the following skills and abilities:
- Because the position requires handling a high volume of time-sensitive evidence requests, a demonstrated history of exceptional organizational skills is required.
- Strong client interviewing skills
- Excellent written and oral advocacy skills
- Ability to learn a large volume of complex material quickly, initiative, strong interpersonal skills, and ability to interact well in a multi-cultural environment
- High School Diploma or GED
- Strong writing skills
- Exceptional organizational skills
- Computer literacy, including proficiency in using Outlook
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field or Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies
- Experience with a social services agency or a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the poor and/or people with disabilities, and/or experience in legislative or administrative advocacy
- Fluency in writing and speaking a language other than English, preferably Spanish
CLS will accept applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled. You can submit your application on CLS’s website online at https://clsphila.org/careers/ OR https://clsphiladelphia.applytojob.com/apply/N0uVjhZBXw/Disability-Income-Paralegal
What to Include in your application: Please include a cover letter, resume, three professional references preferably from current or former supervisors/managers and one brief writing sample (10 pages or less). CLS values a diverse and inclusive work environment where employees feel a sense of belonging and strongly encourages women, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness and people who have had prior contact with the juvenile, criminal, or child welfare systems to apply. CLS invites all applicants to include in their cover letter a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and legal services practice.