Third Coast Legal (3CL) provides administrative and civil legal representation and advocacy to low-income individuals, with a primary focus on people with disabilities who are no longer able to work. While specializing in Social Security Disability and SSI benefits, 3CL may also provide representation, information and referral in other priority areas as described below.

Social Security Disability Representation

Requests for disability representation are assessed on a case-by-case basis, utilizing the following criteria:

  • Client need (prioritizing agency referrals, homeless clients, those without income, and individuals least able to advocate for themselves)
  • Strength of claim and availability of medical evidence
  • Staff capacity

Clients receiving SSI/SSD representation may concurrently access comprehensive benefits advocacy.  Thus, all disability clients are screened for benefits and programs which might increase household income (IDAP, W-2, Veterans’ Benefits, etc.), or which might allow the client to reallocate existing income (Sec. 8 housing, prescription assistance, childcare, FoodShare, etc). In this way, we assure that clients are stable and supported during the wait for disability benefits.

While program viability and sustainability require that we charge the statutory fee for SSI/SSD representation, we would offer a greater breadth and depth of services than what is offered by private bar attorneys charging the same fee. Clients can expect an experienced and zealous advocate who would consider the needs of the whole client, and who could help address issues above and beyond the pending disability claim.

Other Legal Representation

As funding and agency capacity allow, available civil legal representation or referral is available for the following matters:

  • General public benefits advocacy including W-2 denials/sanctions, Emergency Assistance, T19/BadgerCare appeals, FoodShare, and related administrative hearings.
  • Landlord/tenant issues
  • AODA treatment information/referral
  • Domestic abuse/harassment/individual at risk injunctions
  • Drivers’ license recovery
  • Energy Assistance
  • Foster Care and Kinship Care
  • Child care subsidy assistance
  • Subsidized housing
  • Elder-specific issues, such as:
    • Medical Assistance
    • Medicare
    • Long Term Care 
    • Social Security
    • Elder (financial, physical, emotional, or neglect) abuse
  • Consumer law matters

Referral Services

Finally, brief advice and referral services are always available in the following areas:

  • Mental health/AODA treatment
  • Access to health care for the uninsured or underinsured
  • Disability cases that are not fee-generating (Continuing Disability Reviews, overpayments, terminations)
  • Representative payee services
  • Child support/paternity/custody
  • Creditor-debtor matters