In the News

Community HeLP Clinic offers assistance to Athens Housing Authority residents - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Georgia Law’s Community Health Law Partnership, led by Assistant Professor Jason A. Cade, took on a substantial advocacy project during November to benefit residents of Athens Housing Authority in addition to its current work with patients at Mercy Health Center.

State law changed on Oct. 1, allowing households with elderly or disabled members to qualify for additional SNAP (food stamps) benefits based on unreimbursed medical expenses. Second-year student Christina A. Cason and third-year student Andrew B. McClintock led a presentation on the newly changed law to residents of AHA, and shortly after, the entire clinic screened AHA residents who expressed food insecurity at the presentation. As a result, the clinic has accepted 10 residents as new clients and provided advice to numerous others regarding their eligibility for food stamps and the medical expense deduction. Cason and McClintock, with assistance from other clinic students, also developed a standard form to help applicants and advocates calculate qualifying expenses. The form has been shared with the Georgia Legal Services Project in hopes that it can be used to assist qualifying individuals throughout the state.

The clinic plans to continue its presentations and screenings on this issue in 2016.


Community HeLP Clinic caps successful year with win Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Congratulations to Georgia Law’s Community Health Law Partnership for finishing its first year with a win in a contested SNAP (food stamps) case. During the spring semester, third-year students Ricardo A. “Richie” Lopez and Carrie A. Moss advocated on the behalf of a disabled clinic client and achieved an almost $200 monthly increase in benefits.

Lopez and Moss also uncovered multiple agency errors leading to significant underpayments dating back almost one year. Three days after graduating from Georgia Law, Lopez returned to the clinic to represent the client in an administrative hearing, during which the agency relented on all issues and agreed to reimburse the client for back benefits totaling almost $1,600.

Directed by Assistant Professor Jason A. Cade, the Community HeLP Clinic provides an innovative approach in addressing the social determinants of health for indigent individuals. Law students partner with health care professionals to tackle a variety of legal needs that affect patients. Over the course of the 2014-15 academic year, students in the clinic assisted approximately 40 low-income persons in the Athens area in overcoming a range of health-harming legal needs, including issues relating to food stamps, disability benefits, and immigration.