Allen was in relatively good health until he developed a tumor in 2008 and began radiation treatments at the age of 27 – a devastating turn for him, his wife, and their two-year-old son. When he was not in the hospital, Allen was exhausted and sick from his treatments. And while his employer adjusted his schedule to accommodate his illness, Allen was only able to work a day or two per week for a few hours at a time at his job as a Manhattan hotel agent.
Bills began to pile up and Allen fell behind on his rent. In addition to his life-threatening disease, Allen and his family faced a lawsuit from their landlord for overdue rent and barely had money to buy food. The family didn’t know where to turn for help. Then a social worker at Bellevue Hospital connected Allen with an attorney from LegalHealth, a division of the New York Legal Assistance Group.
With his attorney’s help, Allen and his family were able to gain access to Food Stamps and short-term disability – providing them with enough resources to cover their expenses during Allen’s treatment and recovery. LegalHealth also helped Allen apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and when his initial application was denied, LegalHealth assisted him with the appeal. After winning the appeal, Allen received $2,091 in retroactive SSDI benefits, and $800 in ongoing monthly benefits. LegalHealth also advised him as to his elgibility for short term disability and he received $1067 in retroactive benefits. With these funds, Allen was able to pay his rent and pull his family back from the brink during a critical time.