Where can I get help with my SSDI, SSI or Medi-Cal claim or case?

Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are programs administered by the Social Security Administration that provide cash benefits for persons who are unable to work due to disability. Medi-Cal provides free or low-cost health coverage to eligible individuals and families. Medi-Cal programs include programs specifically for the disabled.

The Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco

825 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 543-6222

The ILRCSF provides information and referrals on various programs and services for the disabled, including eligibility for benefits. Their “Quick and Easy Guide to SSI and SSDI” includes answers to questions such as “Can I have earnings and still get SSI and/or SSDI?” The ILRCSF holds a Drop-In Benefits Workshop three days a month, with topics that include Social Security and Medi-Cal. ILRCSF also provides help with administrative hearings.

People With Disabilities Foundation

507 Polk Street, Suite 430
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 931-3070
(510) 522-PWDF (7933) Oakland

The Mission of PWDF is “to provide education and advocacy for people with psychiatric and/or developmental disabilities, with or without physical disabilities, so that they can achieve equal opportunities in all aspects of life.” Their advocacy services include SSI and Social Security disability representation, and representation on ADA employment, health care, and other services.

PRC (formerly Positive Resource Center)

785 Market Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Among other services, PRC provides free Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) advocacy for San Francisco residents with mental health disabilities who have been referred by a Community Behavioral Health Services referral site. Residents with mental health disabilities who live with family members can self-refer.

San Francisco Human Services Agency (Medi-Cal questions and answers)

1440 Harrison Street or 1235 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Toll Free (855) 355-5757

Where can I get help with my Medicare questions?

Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)

407 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 677-7520 or (800) 434-0222

HICAP provides counseling on Medicare and Medicare supplemental policies, among other subjects.

Where can I get information about CalFresh?

CalFresh is California’s Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP). The program provides a monthly benefit, issued on an electronic benefits card (EBT), for purchasing food. Eligibility depends on income and other factors. Application is through county human services agencies.

San Francisco Human Services Agency (CalFresh Frequently Asked Questions)

1235 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Alameda County CalFresh Frequently Asked Questions

Santa Clara County Food Assistance Overview

Can I get information about public benefits if I come to an AASCEND meeting?

Members have much experience and knowledge on these subjects and are always willing to share information. Also, guests have given presentations at AASCEND meetings on various public benefits topics, including the following presenters.

Jennifer Steneberg of The Dale Law Firm gave a presentation about Special Needs Trusts at our June 2016 meeting. This topic is of interest to many people who want to maintain eligibility for public benefits without exceeding program limits on property ownership.

Attorneys from San Francisco’s PRC (formerly Positive Resource Center) answered questions on Social Security topics at our July 2015 meeting.

Michael Joyce, a Sacramento-area attorney, spoke about the Social Security disability determination process at our November 2016 meeting, and also answered some questions about the ABLE Act (Achieving a Better Life Experience), which allows for tax-free savings accounts for persons with disabilities. Read about California’s ABLE Act here.