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Find CCDC programs to help assist in advocating for you or someone you know with a disability.

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ISSUES

Find the most common issues people with disabilities face and how CCDC can help.

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Individual Advocacy

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Individual advocacy is the process of assisting a member in correcting a problem such as obtaining and/or maintaining a benefit or service or solving a problem with a service provider, landlord, employer, etc.

Individual advocacy can include but is not limited to: representing people at administrative and informal hearings and appeals, attending meetings, or writing letters on behalf of individuals. Our trained non-attorney advocates may be able to provide limited individual advocacy services. They do not provide case management or direct services.

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Available Assistance

Following are some of the issues our advocates may be able to help with:

Medicaid

We will attempt to address issues you have with Medicaid such eligibility, appeals, application issues, benefit options, waivers, or buy-in programs. We cannot assist with private insurance issues.

Housing

We cannot help you find housing, address discrimination, stop evictions, or other housing-related issues. We will attempt to help with complaints about section 8 rule violations, habitability issues, and code violations when disability is a factor.

  • For housing discrimination anywhere in the state, contact the Denver Metro Fair Housing Center. Their direct phone number is 720-279-4291.
  • If you are facing eviction, we recommend that you call your local office for COLORADO LEGAL SERVICES  immediately or through their online application.
Employment

We have peer advocates who may be able to talk you through employment and employment-related problems.

  • To pursue a discrimination complaint about a disability-related employment problem, you must start with the EEOC process.
  • Disability Law Colorado can also help with employment discrimination. Please call them before contacting CCDC.
Transportation

We can help file a complaint on behalf of people who have experienced disability discrimination when using a transport service.  In some circumstances, we may be able to help with Access-A-Ride eligibility appeals.

Court Accommodations

If you need a disability-related accommodation at court, our advocates may be able to assist you access through the courts:

  • A sign language interpreter
  • Option to call into a court appearance rather than appear in-person, if your disability indeed makes leaving home impossible
  • Allowances to wait for the court in a quiet room
Education

We can provide advice and in some cases help with school-based Medicaid health care issues. We may also assist students entering a two-year or four-year degree program with obtaining reasonable accommodations. Unfortunately, we are not able to act as educational advocates for things like attending IEP meetings and follow up to ensure implementation, assist with due process complaints, or enforce service provider compliance.

  • For information about your child’s rights regarding education, we recommend that you start by contacting the PEAK Parent Center at 719-531-9400.
  • If your child has a developmental disability and  having a problem accessing education, contact your local Arc Chapter for assistance.
  • The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights assists with equal access to education through civil rights enforcement.
Social Security

We may be able to assist individuals on Social Security with issues related to employment options without the fear of losing benefits.

  • We can refer you to a benefits planner and monitor the quality of the benefits planner.
  • We may be able to also assist with an over payment request if you tried to report your income and Social Security still reports overpayment.
  • We can help explain the Social Security Work Incentive Programs like 1619B.
  • We do NOT have the resources to help people with the Social Security application process. The Disability Benefits Support program may be able to assist you.

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Get help here  from an individual advocate


 

Individual Advocacy FAQs

    1. 1. What happens if I ask for services?
    2. 2. How long is the process?
    3. 3. What if I have multiple problems?
    4. 4. What if I do not like the advocate you assign to me?
    5. 5. What is the cost?
    6. 6. What should I expect from my advocate?
    7. 7. Will information be kept confidential?
    8. 8. What do I have to do?
    9. 9. Can I get a reference of a former client?
    10. 10. What are the qualifications of my advocate?
    11. 11. How do I know if someone is an advocate, or if they are with your organization?
1. What happens if I ask for Assistance?

A member of our team will assess the information you’ve provided and determine if we can help or will need to refer you to another agency.  We may need to gather more information before we can determine if we’re able to assist you or not. If your case requires us to request documentation on your behalf, we will ask you to sign a release before we can help. If we determine we can assist you,  we will develop with you a goal for our advocacy and a plan of action which includes you.

Possible actions may include:

  • Filing an appeal (for denial, termination, reduction or suspension of benefits)
  • Filing a grievance (for rude treatment by staff)
  • Filing a formal complaint with a regulator (when you have a problem with professional, such as a doctor or nurse or a facility, such as a hospital or nursing home)
  • Asking for a meeting with whoever is causing you problems and attending that meeting with you
  • Attending a staffing, case conference or evaluation meeting with a case manager
  • Assisting you with formally requesting reasonable modifications of policy or reasonable accommodations under the American’s with Disabilities Act or Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act
  • Preventing and addressing retaliation and fear of reprisals
  • Negotiating with a provider or other professional on your behalf

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2. How long is the process?

We have some matters which we resolve on the same day and other cases which have lasted more than a year.  We cannot guarantee how long your individual case or issue will take to resolve.

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3. What if I have multiple concerns?

If you have multiple concerns, we will ask to hear what they are during the information gathering process.  For matters outside our field, we will refer you to agencies which are better equipped to assist you.  Together, we will then prioritize the remaining problems we intend to help you address. We typically work on one issue at a time.

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4. What if I don’t agree with the advocate you assign to me?

We understand that sometimes two people do not click!   We also know we are not perfect. We are an organization which embraces a culture of learning.  If the advocacy relationship is not working, we want to hear about it. We see this as a way for our advocates to continue their drive for improvement. If we do not know what is wrong, we cannot resolve the problem. If you are uncomfortable with an advocate, we can usually find a new advocate for you. The first step is to contact the Director of Individual Advocacy Donna Sablan at dsablan@ccdconline.org and let her know your concerns about your advocate.

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5. What is the cost?

Our advocacy services are free to our members, therefore we ask for you to become a member of CCDC by going here. On rare occasions, we might ask clients with the means to help with costs associated with advocacy.  For example, if you want us to help you get a lot of records and this is not essential for the case at hand, we may ask you assist with the associated fees. Our program relies on contributions, so we gratefully accept donations.

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6. What should I expect from my advocate?

As much as we try, we cannot promise to fix your issues—but the following are things can guarantee:

  • We will treat you with honesty and respect.
  • We will do our best to explain what the rules and laws are that affect your case and provide those explanations in writing, upon your request.
  • We will tell you what we believe will happen when we file a complaint or appeal and before going to a hearing or meeting.
  • If choices exist about how to approach a situation, we will explain those choices.  We will have an honest discussion about the pros and cons of a planned approach.
  • We give you our advice as professionally trained advocates but respect your decision on how to proceed.
  • We abide by the principles, values, and ethics of CCDC. If we cannot ethically do as you ask, we let someone else represent you.
  • We attempt to return calls and emails promptly (usually within two to three business days ) or tell you when we will not be able to respond swiftly.
  • We have no conflicts of interest.  We are not a provider and do not receive government grants. We do engage in contract work and can provide you details.
  • We will gladly share with you our credentials, and we are not defensive if you question us, or want to speak to our supervisor about something.  We are eager to hear directly from you if you have any concerns or think we can do things better.

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7. Will my information be kept confidential?

No.  We are doing this work to make changes; therefore if we advocate for you, we will want to share your story when in policy meetings, with legislators, etc.  We share necessary information, not personal details.  For example, we may say we assisted someone with getting a new wheelchair and here is how the state tried to deny the chair.  We would not say we helped Susan Jones who is a C-6 quadriplegic of this address…  Also, because of federal privacy laws, we will ask anyone we help to sign a release of information allowing us to speak to the state or provider to help resolve the problem.  If you become or are a client of our legal program, anything between you and a CCDC attorney will remain confidential according to professional legal ethics.

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8. What do I have to do?

First, you need to become a member. Second, clients must follow through with suggestions given, or requests made (such as getting information, returning release forms, etc.) If clients are not able to do so, we expect them to tell us directly. Third, we need clients to be open and honest with us so there are no surprises from the opposition. Lastly, we need clients to ask questions. Knowledge ensures the planned outcome is the desired one.

We understand at times you may change your mind about the direction of your case.  It is ok to change your mind, but not in the middle of a hearing.

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9. Can I get a reference of a former client?

Yes, call and ask – we will have the former clients contact you directly. You may request a reference by calling 303-839-1775.

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10. What are the qualifications of my advocate?

We are not a clinical service or a service provider and we are not attorneys. Advocates need to know how to work within the system using a variety of techniques. CCDC trains all advocates and provides supervision by the Executive Director or her designee. Advocates go through intensive instruction and an internship before being certified. Most of our advocates are unpaid volunteers. Potential advocates must demonstrate skill mastery before engaging in unsupervised advocacy.

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11. How do I know if someone is an advocate, or if they are with your organization?

If you are concerned someone is not an advocate or is not affiliated with Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), call to verify with CCDC directly. You may do so by calling 303-839-1775.

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Important Notice
CCDC’s employees and/or volunteers are NOT acting as your attorney. Responses you receive via electronic mail, phone, or in any other manner DO NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), or any employee of, or other person associated with, CCDC. The only way an attorney-client relationship is established is if you have a signed retainer agreement with one of the CCDC Legal Program attorneys.

Information received from CCDC’s employees or volunteers, or from this site, should NOT be considered a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. www.ccdconline.org DOES NOT provide any legal advice, and you should consult with your own lawyer for legal advice. This website is a general service that provides information over the internet. The information contained on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation.

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