Disability Advocate Case Manager or Social Worker

The Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project (MHP) seeks an advocate to assist and represent clients with mental health concerns in their applications for federal disability benefits (SSI/SSDI).

Who Are We?
MHP is a team of attorneys, social workers, advocates, and peer specialists, dedicated to disrupting and dismantling the cycle of hospitalization, homelessness, and incarceration that traps low-income New Yorkers living with serious mental health concerns. We intervene at all parts of this cycle: we work to secure financial and medical benefits to prevent homelessness and hospitalization; we provide peer advocacy and social work support to empower clients in the community; we collaborate on impact litigation; we ensure proper discharge planning occurs prior to release from jail and psychiatric hospitals; we connect people to the appropriate organizations through advice and referrals; and we host community workshops to educate people about their rights and how to advocate for themselves and their peers.

Job Summary and Qualifications
This position will be part of an interdisciplinary team that provides advocacy services for low-income adults with mental health concerns. The advocate will be responsible for helping clients who are experiencing homelessness apply for federal disability benefits using the SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery) model. SOAR is an evidence-based model that helps individuals with mental health concerns who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness apply for SSI/SSDI benefits.

The Mental Health Project seeks a candidate with the following qualifications:

• Experience and commitment to providing client-centered and trauma-informed advocacy;
• SOAR experience preferred;
• MSW or BSW preferred but not required;
• Strong anti-oppressive, anti-racist, and social justice analysis and lens;
• Proficiency in Spanish a plus;
• Strong time-management skills, attention to detail;
• Strong verbal advocacy and writing skills, with the ability to analyze extensive data and create written reports with accuracy and brevity;
• An understanding and openness to using harm reduction approaches in client work;
• Ability to be collaborative and work with a team;

• Represent clients in the application for federal disability benefits;
• Interview clients to gather information to complete applications;
• Gather medical records and other evidence to support the clients’ applications;
• Write SOAR Medical Summary Reports for individual applications;
• Accompany individuals to appointments at the Social Security Administration, and other appointments as needed;
• Work with referral sources and community partners to identify applicants through outreach and meetings;
• Maintain client files and databases;
• Collaborate with MHP team members to provide holistic advocacy services.

Salary is DOE. The Urban Justice Center offers a flexible work environment and a highly
competitive benefits package that includes vacation, personal, and sick time; medical and dental
coverage; vision and gym reimbursements; and a 401(k) plan. The Urban Justice Center is currently working remotely.

This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the National
Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW, Local 2320.

How to Apply:
To apply send a cover letter, resume, and 3-5 page writing sample to Please write “Disability Advocate Position” in the e-mail subject line. Applications will be viewed on a rolling basis. Priority will be given to applications received by 9/2/2020. Due to high volume we are unable to respond to all applicants. We will contact only those candidates selected for further consideration.

The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, religion/creed, color, national origin, sex, SOGIE, age, disability, military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, victim of domestic violence status, or marital status. People with lived experience of mental health concerns and/or criminal legal system involvement are encouraged to apply.


We welcome your questions and comments

Main Office

40 Rector Street, 9th floor
New York, NY 10006

Telephone: 877-MHP-LAW1 (877-647-5291)



Mon-Fri: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

By appointment only


2020-09-02T17:45:23+00:00August 31st, 2020|Vacancy|
The health and wellbeing of our staff and clients is of the utmost importance. While we deal with the effects of the coronavirus, our office will be closed. Our staff continues to work to serve our clients and communities, and can be contacted by email. Find out more information (including how to make face masks) here.. Ok