Public Benefits Assistance with SSI/SSDI Applications

At White Bird, our SOAR-trained Public Benefits Advocate provides assistance to eligible individuals in completing thorough, quality SSDI/SSI applications. The focus is on individuals who are homeless and at risk of homelessness who experience mental health and/or physical health conditions. These services are offered free of charge.

A screening process helps to determine potential eligibility based on many various factors like work history, income, marital status, and resources. The application itself can take a couple of hours to fill out, and it’s important to have all the information ready prior to applying. Potential clients should anticipate meeting with the Benefits Advocate 3-5 times before actually completing the application.

The Benefits Advocate can assist clients in obtaining information, but it will make things go faster if the client has the following information:

  • List of medical sources that have treated the client, with strong focus on the last two years’ records
    • Sources can include: primary care doctors, hospitals and ERs, behavioral health hospitals, mental health counselors, psychiatrists, corrections facilities, education records, vocational rehab or job training programs, social services agencies
  • A list of tests or procedures ordered (x-rays, MRIs, mental health assessments, etc.)
  • A list of medications prescribed (if applicable)
  • The last 15 years’ work history

What the Public Benefits Advocate Can Do:

  • Acts as a representative on the claim – allows the benefits advocate to speak to the Social Security Administration and Disability Determination Services (SSA and DDS) on the client’s behalf. Also receives copies of all correspondence sent to the claimant; can be a consistent point contact person for SSA/DDS.
  • Requests medical records with the claimant’s permission.
  • Assists the claimant in navigating the disability application process, including help filling out reports and responding to requests from SSA/DDS.
  • Makes referrals for other White Bird programs/services, as well as other community resources
  • Helps claimants file a reconsideration for a denied claim (for clients who have already filed an initial claim with the benefits advocate)
  • Make referrals to disability attorneys when appropriate (reconsiderations and Administrative Law Judge hearings).

What the Benefits Advocate Can’t Do:

  • Cannot do it without the client! It is vital that the client stays involved in the process and maintains communication with the Benefits Advocate. MANY disability claims get denied simply because the claimant does not maintain contact or respond to requests from SSA/DDS
  • Cannot guarantee approval on a claim. We screen clients for various eligibility factors and work with people who have a strong chance of being approved, but it is SSA/DDS that makes a determination of disability status.
  • Cannot “expedite” or otherwise speed up the process. We can help the claimant put together a complete application and proactively fill out reports in advance of them being requested, but the agencies that make the decisions are often dealing with a backlog of applications and sometimes things move slowly.
  • Cannot see into SSA’s or DDS’s systems or files. The benefits advocate does not work for SSA or other governmental agencies; the benefits advocate can communicate SSA/DDS and confirm that these agencies have what they need, but does not have direct access to the records.
  • Cannot help apply for other benefits/services – SSI/SSDI only. (No Section 8, housing/rental assistance, SNAP, energy assistance, phones, IDs, birth certificates, etc.)

*SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is a national program designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.

For more information and to set up an appointment, please contact Meaghan Taylor, Public Benefits Advocate, at 541-246-2334 or mtaylor@whitebirdclinic.org.

Non-profit Rate Now Available for 2018 Help Book

White Bird Clinic’s 2018 Help Book is a vital reference book for anyone who works with people with limited resources or special needs. The newest edition is an indispensable tool to provide current and appropriate referrals with over 700 human service resources. The Help Book covers Lane County, including Eugene, Springfield, Florence, Cottage Grove and other outlying areas.

To make the book more accessible to the community, we are offering a non-profit rate of $20 for non-profit organizations with 20 or fewer employees. Contact us at helpbook@whitebirdclinic.org to request this special rate.

Topics include: Emergency Services, Government Assistance, Support Groups, Child/Youth Services, Alcohol and Drug Referrals, Women’s Services, Mental Health Services, Disabled Services, Minority Services, Services in Outlying Areas, Utility Assistance, Food, Clothing, Shelter, Health Care, Education, Parenting, and Recreation.

  • ALPHABETICAL INDEX provides addresses and phone numbers for simple referral.
  • SUBJECT INDEX allows you to locate a resource by problem, type of service or special population.

Information includes detailed program descriptions, hours of operation, eligibility requirements, fees, wheelchair accessibility, email addresses, web sites, phone numbers and addresses.

Larger organizations and for-profit entities can continue to order the book at the standard rate. Click here to access the standard order form. For the non-profit rate of $20 for non-profit organizations with 20 or fewer employees, please contact us at helpbook@whitebirdclinic.org to request this special rate. Thank you!

CAHOOTS Receives EPD 2018 Partnership Award

Congratulations to CAHOOTS medic and crisis workers Rose Fenwick and Kimber Hawes, who were honored at a ceremony yesterday by the Eugene Police Department with the 2018 Partnership Award! Thank you for your care and compassion in serving our community.

Remembering Jeanette “Luna” Rasnack

Luna Rasnack

July 17, 1982 – May 15, 2018

Jeanette “Luna” Rasnack passed away May 15, 2018 in Eugene, OR. She will be remembered by many Birders and is mourned by her community in OR, where she has lived since 2009. She leaves behind her father Carl Rasnack (Deborah), sister Carla Waid (Bryan), brother Joseph Rasnack (Colleen), niece Megan Waid, nephew Samuel Waid, daughter Carlie Joy, special companion Joe and many other relatives.

The family will receive friends at a memorial to Jeanette’s life Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 2:30 pm, at Dayton United Methodist Church, 215 Ashby St., Dayton, VA. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to White Bird Clinic, 341 E. 12th Ave., Eugene, OR 97401 or online at www.whitebirdclinic.org/donate.

Jeanette Karlene Rasnack Full Obituary

Remembering Luna by Joe Schmisek

published in the Eugene Weekly, May 2018

She loved sitting on the grass lawns and in my garden while I gardened. She loved to sit and wait while I did yard work. She loved going to the river and bathing. She liked going to the parks and going on long walks. She liked to play with leaves, gravel and soil with her hands.

She liked old and used jewelry and clothing. She liked loose-fitting dresses and skirts with no undergarments.

She liked things that were simple, things with no monetary value.

She liked collecting stone pebbles and walking sticks; she liked earth-friendly things. She liked places of peace, quiet and solitude, and not being around big crowds. She liked to carry old used blankets and loved to only walk.

She loved brushing her hair and me scratching her back and feet.

She loved to go for walks downtown and loved going to the Catholic church and First Christian for breakfast. She loved me taking her to St. Vincent de Paul’s to shop for clothes and to Sweet Life to get her cake.

She loved going to White Bird, and she liked calling Cahoots for rides.

She had an understanding for other people who were poor, in poverty and homeless. She gave me gifts of no monetary value, from her heart. We would sleep behind Vanilla Jill’s and under a maple tree behind Tiny’s Tavern where I met her, and other big maple trees in the Whiteaker neighborhood.

She loved wearing mits with the fingers cut off them and a sweater shawl, and she loved scarves and high-heeled boots, and shoes, and sandals, and cloth ankle bracelets.

She loved to follow me wherever we would go.

She seemed to want to be a free spirit and not to be troubled by how her house looked or people’s judgments about her; she wanted to be free from worries. She said that she really loved me, and she loved a feeling of being free and not too tied down to worries.

We went to the fairgrounds to have dinner and went to First Christian Church; she said she loved the pleasant music. She told me she wanted to know of good angels. She loved the necklaces, rings and bracelets I got her.

Renovations Completed at 341 E. 12th Avenue

After two weeks of renovations, Front Rooms is re-open for business! We put a lot of TLC into our beloved old building, including a deep clean, floor renovation, wood restoration and a fresh coat of paint. All services are back open for usual hours, including mail, crisis walk-ins and homeless day-use services.

Oregon Health Plan Assistance

Do you want help applying or re-applying for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP)? Do you need help applying for a plan and financial assistance through HealthCare.gov? We are here to assist you! Oregon Health Plan appointments are available on Thursdays at 1400 Mill Street  from 10:30am-2:30pm. Please bring the following information with you (about everyone in your household):

  • Birth date(s)
  • Policy number(s) and plan name(s) for any current health insurance
  • Information about health coverage available at work
  • Social Security number(s), if you have them
  • Immigration document(s), if you have them
  • Email address(es), if you have them
  • Employer and income information
  • Any self-employment deductions

Many of our clients qualify for OHP (Oregon Health Plan, Oregon’s free Medicaid coverage), but if you are over the income cutoff, Sharing Healthcare Options Program (SHOP) staff can also provide assistance with purchasing private insurance through www.healthcare.gov.

We will answer your questions, help you submit your application, and track its progress until you actually have coverage.

Program staff also conduct outreach activities and presentations at community venues and events and at regular times at our offices on E. 12th Avenue. Please visit https://whitebirdclinic.org/shop for more information.

White Bird’s Help Book Has Been Hacked

Last weekend, White Bird Clinic had the good fortune to participate in Hack for a Cause, a local technology competition to build solutions to provide transformative public benefit. Over 200 participants volunteered to put their coding and software skills to the test and 11 non-profits offered up their problems to solve. The one we selected was the community help directory. White Bird’s Performance Coordinator Alan Glick describes what we were hoping for in the following video.

Three teams of volunteers worked around the clock, exploring how our paper Help Book could become an accessible online database. Each of the solutions they presented were beyond our expectations and the community networking opportunities planted seeds for future projects with some of the other non-profit challengers.

screen shot

Demo Start Screen

Joshua, sent us a comment after the event: “I want to say, after really getting to know this data, this is an amazing resource, and I am honored to be able to help make it better.”

We will continue to develop this digital Help Book website with our partners for a 2019 release. We are so thankful for the support from the Technology Association of Oregon for making this hack possible.

Until then, you can support our work by ordering the 2018 edition Help Book and joining us at the Lane County Medical Society building at 990 W. 7th Avenue to pick up your book(s) and have lunch with us on Friday, April 27 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm to celebrate 40 years of local, human service information referral and see what’s next for Lane County’s Help Book.

CAHOOTS Receives 2018 Excellence in Public Health Award

On April 10th, CAHOOTS was selected by the Lane County Board of Commissioners as a recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Public Health Award. The award was presented during the Commissioners’ meeting to recognize the CAHOOTS team’s work in the field as behavioral health first responders, as well as their efforts in outreach, training, education, and support for individuals and groups throughout the area.

White Bird’s Hack for a Cause Challenge

White Bird Clinic is excited to announce our challenge has been accepted for Hack for a Cause 2018! We’re looking forward to working with the Technology Association of Oregon and meeting our volunteers.

All participants will receive access to the Downtown Athletic Club for the duration of the event. Meals and snacks will be provided to attendees who are lending their expertise and knowledge to build technical solutions for the challenges presented.

Click Here for Full Proposal

Questions?

Contact us at info@whitebirdclinic.org.

Suggestions or community feedback?

We’d love to hear them. Want more information? Meet us at Tech Tuesday at the Barn Light, 3/27 from 5:30-7:30pm. Come say hi – we’ll be the ones in the White Bird shirts.

 

White Bird Opioid Treatment Program

White Bird Clinic has recently started a medication assisted treatment program for opioid abuse and dependence and now have a suboxone prescriber. The White Bird Opioid Treatment Program is designed to support individuals who are breaking the chain of opiate use. The program connects clients with a suboxone prescriber and supportive services with our behavioral and mental health counseling services.

Once admitted into Chrysalis Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic, a client will be connected with a counselor for weekly counseling sessions to support the client’s individual goals. The client will also have access to group counseling and other support services such as; an Acupuncture Clinic, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Peer Support. Chrysalis also has a specialized opiate group “The Ethos Group.” Where individuals can find a supportive environment with others who are also breaking the chain of opiate use and discuss specific issues related to opiate use. Once a client has been assessed for medication assisted treatment appointments with our medical provider will be arranged for suboxone services. Weekly counseling sessions along with weekly medical appointments will be required for suboxone maintenance.

To enroll in the White Bird Opioid Treatment Program call 541-683-1641 or come by our office at 350 East 11th Avenue Eugene, Or. and ask for our data packet. Once the new client data packet is completed an intake can be scheduled. There will also be a mandatory TB test required for scheduling an intake and that can be performed at our White Bird Medical Clinic or at an individual’s primary care doctor’s office if they currently have a primary care doctor.

Th White Bird Opioid Treatment Program has reserved slots for homeless individuals to ensure services are provided to those who need it most. There are also a select number of slots for individuals who are not experiencing homelessness. We accept OHP and have funding for scholarships for individuals who do not have insurance. If you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 541-683-1641 or come by our office.

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