We are available Monday – Friday, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Advocates at the Help Desk are trained to provide information about Fair Hearings, benefits and community services and, also offer referral services. The Project FAIR Help Desk is located in the main waiting area at:
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Office of Administrative Hearings
14 Boerum Place, 1st Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Advocates at the Help Desk are comprised of experienced public benefits attorneys and advocates, most of whom volunteer their time, in addition to volunteers trained and mentored by Project FAIR staff. They represent over a dozen different legal services offices, community-based organizations, private law firms, and students from area law schools. If you would like to volunteer to staff the Help Desk, please see the section for volunteers under “Resources” for more information.
As an initial point of contact for many individuals who do not otherwise have access to legal assistance or information about available resources and services, the Project FAIR Help Desk serves as a critical source of information for individuals. By arming Project FAIR constituents with information before they proceed with their Fair Hearings, Project FAIR serves to empower low- income individuals and families and to create more efficiency in the Fair Hearing process, thereby preserving scarce public resources.
In the fall of 2010, Project FAIR, in collaboration with the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) and St. John’s University School of Law, established the Economic Justice Clinic. Each academic year, approximately 6 law students are trained & supervised by Christopher Portelli, Project FAIR Co-Director, with a focus on assisting Project FAIR in its work with clients seeking to obtain and maintain their public benefits. Students give 15 hours per week to the clinic and then meet with clients at Project FAIR’s Help Desk where they either provide information and assistance on-site or, agree to meet the clients through NYLAG’s intake, for an interview to assess their need for counsel or representation at Fair Hearings. This clinic allows representation through a partner organization to individuals who might not otherwise have obtained counsel.