Community Information Database

Subject Description

Welfare Rights Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for prospective or current public financial assistance recipients who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining the full benefits to which they are entitled by law under various income support entitlement programs. The programs may help people understand the eligibility criteria for benefits, how much they can work without affecting their benefits (for some programs), the benefits provided by the program, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with public assistance benefits staff; and/or represent them in administrative hearings or judicial litigation. Included are welfare rights organizations that offer a range of advocacy services as well as legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance. In the U.S., entitlement programs include (but are not limited to) General Relief (GR), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). In Canada, most of these programs are operated on the provincial/territorial level but are conceived under federal mandate to ensure equity of assistance. Some of these programs may be geared to specific communities such as persons with disabilities or First Nations.

Taxonomy Code: FT-100.950

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