Client's benefit reinstated due to hands on advocacy


Paralegal Carlos Colindres

Metropolitan Maryland Paralegal Carlos Colindres went above and beyond to help a client recently. The client, who speaks only Spanish, expressed frustration at the difficulty he was having with the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services (DSS), which had terminated his monthly Food Stamp benefit of $15.00 per month. Our client felt certain that he and his family were entitled to more, but DSS simply terminated his benefit and refused to process his application for increased benefits. Wanting to see the process for himself, Carlos accompanied the client to the local DSS office early one morning. He found the agency’s Limited English Proficiency (LEP) resources severely lacking, so he served both as interpreter and advocate for the client, spending several hours at DSS over the course of two days. As a direct result of Carlos’ intervention and advocacy, the client’s benefit was reinstated and increased to $350.00 per month. The Metropolitan Maryland office is also examining ways to address the LEP deficiencies at DSS that were revealed by Carlos’ proactive, hands-on advocacy.