Maryland Legal Aid frequently represents people who are disabled and who are unable to advocate for themselves. A 55 year-old, highly disabled woman who has been disabled since birth came to Maryland Legal Aid for help to restore her Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Mobility Transportation Services benefit.
For 20 years, the client had been receiving MTA mobility services to travel to and from her doctor’s appointments, when her services were suddenly terminated. The client was faced with missing her appointments that address many of her conditions which include anxiety disorder, traumatic brain injury, developmental disability, and severe depression. MTA prohibited the client from submitting any additional information about her psychiatric disabilities. Staff attorney Caitlin Evans in the Administrative Law Unit represented the client and proposed a settlement to allow the client to re-apply for MTA mobility services by providing significant additional evidence of the client’s psychiatric disabilities. Maryland Legal Aid social worker Liz Pickus accompanied the client to the MTA office to help the client remain calm given the client’s anxiety disorder, and Caitlin accompanied the client to a physical/functional assessment conducted by MTA. Thanks to Maryland Legal Aid’s advocacy, the client’s full MTA mobility services benefit was restored, and she can now travel to and from her doctor’s appointments. Caitlin’s client told her:
“Thank you for your help. Without mobility I was constantly depending on other people and unable to leave my home without the help of others. Now, independently, I can go wherever I need…I have my freedom back.”