Disability Law Group: 2020 Holiday Giving Program

Looking back at the trying times and challenges brought on by COVID-19 in 2020, we know that every ounce of support from the community matters.  In Michigan, we have seen growing numbers of those who have suffered and lives lost, from this terrible virus. Our law firm, Disability Law Group, remains committed to our mission to improve the lives of our disabled neighbors by providing the highest quality of service and care – both inside and outside of the courtroom. We promise to do everything we can to help support our people and organizations in our community so that, together, we can make a meaningful impact through improving lives.

This year, we have decided to create a ‘Holiday Impact Program’ (HIP) that will increase our impact to those critical non-profit organizations that provide important services to at-risk populations, benefitting residents of Michigan and, particularly, those with disabilities. We know first-hand how important it is for those suffering with disabilities to have a strong support system and receive the help that they need to improve their lives. HIP allows each and every one of our employees to select a non-profit organization that helps impact and improves the lives of Michigan people in need; our firm will make a monetary donation to every non-profit chosen by our employees. We decided to not limit our donation to one organization, but expand our impact and reach to include every non-profit that is important to every one of us.

We are thrilled with the diverse and robust selection of organizations that our employees and partners chose to direct our donations to through HIP! Our staff and employees chose the following organizations for Disability Law Group to make a donation to this year (and some were selected by more than one employee and partner, allowing for a larger donation):

  1. Covenant House
  2. Autism Alliance of Michigan
  3. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  4. Pope Francis Center
  5. Adopt A Refugee Program
  6. Michigan Humane society
  7. Ali Forney Center
  8. Angels of Hope
  9. American Cancer Society
  10. Gleaners Food Bank
  11. MCREST – Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team

Covenant House

Covenant House provides housing and support services to young people in need – currently reaching 74,000 youth every year. Located in Detroit (as well as locations in and around the US), Covenant House has helped transform and save the lives of more than one million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people over the last 4 decades. Our firm’s partners and staff participated in a virtual ‘Sleep Out’ in support of ending homelessness earlier this year in the beginning of the pandemic. Find out more here – https://www.covenanthouse.org/.

Autism Alliance of Michigan

Autism Alliance is a non-profit leading the way for collaborative efforts across the state of Michigan that seeks to improve the quality of life for individuals with autism through education, access to comprehensive services, community awareness, inclusion efforts, and coordinated advocacy. With many of our clients having a diagnosis of autism, we hear about the stigma and lack of understanding, as well as resources, for those with the condition. We strike to help promote awareness and support for those with autism. Learn more here – https://autismallianceofmichigan.org/.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude is a renowned organization for their national and global efforts in understanding, treating and defeating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Our clients – some of whom are children – and their families need all the support and help they can get towards understanding and treating their conditions. We are proud to support organizations like St. Jude. To read more – https://www.stjude.org/.

Pope Francis Center

Located downtown Detroit (in the TCF Center for this winter), the Pope Francis Center helped to serve the homeless and empower the community. In an average day, they welcome nearly 200 guests and provide them with nutritious meals, showers, laundry and access to doctors, dentists, lawyers, and housing providers through their free clinic. We are proud to help support the work that Pope Francis Center does for so many of our neighbors in need, and the comprehensive service and support they provide – it’s no wonder why more than one employee and partner selected this organization for our firm to donate to through HIP. To learn more – https://popefranciscenter.org.

Adopt A Refugee Program

Since 2006, the Adopt A Refugee Program has been successfully working with the countries in need to help with refugees by providing funding, resources and hope. 100% of donations go directly to families in dire need of help and hope. We have clients who have come to the US as a refugee, fearing for their lives in their home country, and we seek to help them obtain disability benefits that they could be entitled to, as well as support critical efforts that protect them. To learn more – https://www.adoptarefugeefamily.org

Michigan Humane Society

The Michigan Humane Society is a state leader in the animal welfare community; their organization deploys teams of trained and credentialed investigators and rescue agents on the road in and around Metro-Detroit to help protect and save our animals in need. Their efforts include setting-up and maintaining temporary animal shelters, providing skilled veterinary services, safe transportation of animals, training of field responders, and educational efforts, among others. Service animals are important for the disabled community, and ensuring the safety and welfare of our pets has always been an important effort we support. For more information – www.michiganhumane.org.

Ali Forney Center

The Ali Forney Center’s mission is to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently. The Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park provides shelter and residential safe space as well as support for runaway, homeless, and at-risk LGBTQ youth in Detroit and throughout Southeast Michigan. Other locations, including the Ozone House in Ann Arbor, the Grand Rapids Pride Center, and more throughout the state, help to further their housing and support efforts. The mission and importance of inclusion and community support are important to us. To read more – https://www.aliforneycenter.org.

Angels of Hope

Angels of Hope provides tailored grant packages to Michigan families in need, including rent, mortgage, car and utility payments – all paid directly to their creditors – in an effort to help them maintain safe shelter and support. This organization is 100% volunteer-based with an active team of committees as well as events and programs aimed to further their mission to help those in need and at-risk of homelessness. We know all too well that, for our clients with disabilities, when they are no longer able to work, they worry about how to pay bills. With health problems, the last thing anyone should have to worry about is how to stay safe and keep warm, and that’s why organizations like Angels of Hope (located in Shelby Township, Michigan), deserve our support. For more information – https://www.angelsofhope.org.

American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society’s mission is simple yet critical: to free the world from cancer. All too many of our clients in Michigan suffer from cancer, and the effects of treatment, making it difficult for them to not only work, but to function. Donations help contribute to their research, sharing expert information globally, directly supports patients with cancer, and spreads awareness about prevention. To learn more – https://www.cancer.org.

Gleaners Food Bank

Gleaners has served Southwestern Michigan since 1977, and has expanded its reach throughout the state to help the achieve a healthy, hunger-free community by empowering people they serve through education, advocacy, access and community engagement. Gleaners foodbanks continues to serve the community during the pandemic, when times have been especially trying with more people in need than ever before; their efforts to help end hunger in our communities are truly inspirational and worthy of our support and partnership. To read more – https://www.gcfb.org.

MCREST – Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team

MCREST, located in Roseville, Michigan, aims to address the growing crisis of family homelessness in Macomb County. With 1,448 children who are homeless (according to 2018-2019 data from the Macomb I.S.D.), and nearly 50% of the statewide homeless population being those with children, MCREST is an instrumental part of ending homeless for Michigan people, and families, in need. In fact, more than 500-600 individuals per year are taken in by MCREST. For more information – https://www.mcrest.org.

We are proud of each and every one of our staff and partners who thought of, and selected, such wonderful and important organizations that provide critical community services and support to Michigan residents in need. Disability Law Group strives to continue making an impactful difference, improving the lives of our clients, each other and those in our community – not only inside the courtroom through vigorous and compassionate representation, but also outside through our volunteer efforts, community service programs and partnerships, as well as our donations. We hope you will join us as we continue to improve lives and strengthen our communities together.

Disability Law Group hosts first Free Legal Aid & Resource Clinic

We had a wonderful time at our first Free Legal Aid & Resource Clinic on Saturday. Thank you to our volunteers who made this event so successful for the community. #EveryClientMatters

This comprehensive clinic provided legal advice on a wide variety of topics. Our attorneys, Mandy Kelly, Erika Riggs, and Randall Mansour provided free legal advice in the areas of Social Security Disability, SSI, and VA disability benefits. Local attorneys were also there to help people with family law issues, PPOs, landlord/tenant matters, and more. SSR Law Office attended the Clinic to provide free legal advice on will-drafting, probate, and other estate planning matters. We had Easter-themed crafts which were provided for children accompanying their parents, guardians, or grandparents.

In addition to the wealth of free legal information available, there were also free health screenings provided by Providence Hospital residents. A number of nonprofit community organizations, such as Michigan Works, the Judson Center, and the EmpowerME Project were also there along with other critical community resources.

Check out our video highlighting the event below!

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Spring into Action: Free Legal, Health & Community Clinic open to the Public 4/13

Join us on Saturday, April 13th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a Free Community Resource Clinic and get your legal questions answered and a health screening. On that day, Disability Law Group will host its first Free Legal Aid & Resource Clinic at the Troy Community Center in room 303.

Open to the public, this comprehensive clinic will provide legal advice on a wide variety of topics. Our attorneys, Mandy Kelly, Erika Riggs, and Randall Mansour will be providing free legal advice in the areas of Social Security Disability, SSI, and VA disability benefits. Local attorneys will also be there to help people with family law issues, PPOs, landlord/tenant matters, and more. SSR Law Office will be at the Clinic to provide free legal advice on will-drafting, probate, and other estate planning matters. To make this meeting accessible to everyone, Easter-themed crafts will be provided for children accompanying their parents, guardians, or grandparents.

In addition to the wealth of free legal information available, there will also be free health screenings provided by Providence Hospital residents. A number of nonprofit community organizations, such as Michigan Works, the Judson Center, and the EmpowerME Project will also be there along with other critical community resources.

Are you concerned about not having a will? Worried about what would happen to your loved ones if you became disabled? Do you have another legal issue you have been wanting to address? Explore your options with skilled attorneys available to help during this Clinic in an informal, friendly atmosphere.

For more information please call Disability Law Group at 800-838-1100 or email us at erika@attorneysdlg.com.

Social Security & Disability Presentation and Q&A

Attorneys Randall Mansour & Erika Riggs from Disability Law Group presented to the case workers and clients at Michigan Rehabilitation Services

Attorneys Randall Mansour & Erika Riggs presented to the case workers and clients at Michigan Rehabilitation Services in Clinton Township followed by a Question and Answer series. The topics covered included how to qualify for disability through both the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, common application mistakes, supportive evidence to help your claim, and what to expect for an appeal and hearing. We had a great time meeting the staff who provide critical comprehensive resources to our community in need and their families, as well as the clients who were engaged in the process and asked insightful questions.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), part of the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, is a remarkable resource for the surrounding population. Created to provide solutions for businesses looking to become more efficient and profitable and for disabled individuals seeking employment, the center’s goal is to establish diverse workforces that benefit both groups.

The importance of MRS is difficult to overstate since the state of Michigan is home to approximately 1.3 million people with disabilities, many with skills and talents Michigan businesses can put to good use. Introducing specialized education and training programs to prepare disabled individuals for employment is a worthwhile enterprise from several points of view. Businesses gain employees who are hard workers, eager to prove their worth; individuals with disabilities gain the self-esteem that comes from becoming a valued member of the workforce. It’s a win-win situation.

MRS also encourages and assists disabled individuals to become self-employed or to start their own businesses, thus enriching the business community while promoting independence and ingenuity in a largely untapped community.

At Disability Law Group, we pride ourselves on giving back to the community in need. We look forward to returning to MRS to help their caseworkers and clients they serve understand the rights and benefit options for our disabled neighbors. If you would like to request that our attorneys come out to an event or speaking engagement, please contact us through our website or by calling us at 800-838-1100.

Randall Mansour at Zaman

Randall Mansour participates at EmpowerMe Project’s first Power Up! Series providing legal advice to women at Zaman International. The EmpowerME Project is a women-led, nonprofit educational and legal aid organization focused on assisting and empowering marginalized women and domestic violence victims to alleviate the legal barriers that may be hindering their paths to gaining independence.

Zaman International’s mission is to facilitate change and advance the lives of marginalized women and children, by enabling them to meet essential needs common to all humankind. In 2016, Zaman served 25,194 individuals, distributed 90,000 pounds of food, collected 288,000 pounds of clothing, provided job skills and literacy instruction to more than 70 women, and gave 268 winter coats and 895 school supply-filled backpacks to local children. Meanwhile, it partnered with 178 community partners on a range of initiatives and funded overseas relief projects bringing safe water to more than 5,500 people.