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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.

For more information and to set up an appointment, please contact us at 541-816-2793 between 10am and 4pm.

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.

*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 us at 541-816-2793 between 10am and 4pm.

Free Oregon Birth Certificate for Persons Who Are Homeless

A birth certificate is an important legal document. It is needed to apply for other forms of identification (such as a driver’s license, Social Security card, or state ID card) that you need in order to:

  • Work
  • Get a place to live
  • Apply for and receive public assistance, and
  • Remove other barriers.

Starting July 1, 2018, individuals who are homeless can come to White Bird to get help ordering their Oregon birth certificate free of charge. We will

      • Help you complete the birth record order form
      • Give you information on what documents are needed
      • Provide you a check for payment

You will need to mail your order form, check, documentation, and completed application to Oregon Vital Records. Vital Records will mail your birth certificate to you in care of the address on the order form.

For more information, please contact NEST at 541-342-1295 or drop in Tuesday through Thursday 9:30am to 12:30pm. Please check in first at 341 E 12th Ave.

 

Frequently asked questions:

Can I get my birth certificate for free if I was born in another state?

This program is for persons born in Oregon. Check with the state where you were born to see if they offer free birth certificates to persons who are homeless.

Do I have to provide proof of identity?

Yes. A list of acceptable proofs of identity is on the Oregon Vital Records website. If you don’t have acceptable proofs of identity, we will help you work with Oregon Vital Records to determine what information is needed to release your birth certificate.

Can I get free birth certificates for my family?

No. The grant program was established for individuals who are homeless to get their own birth certificate free of charge. This grant program does not provide funds to get family members’ birth certificates.

Where will my birth certificate be mailed?

Your birth certificate will be mailed to the address on your order form. The envelope will be addressed to you since it is your birth certificate.

Will I be able to use the birth certificate to get other documents such as an Oregon identification card or driver’s license?

Yes. A birth certificate is a legal document used to establish identity. It shows who you are, and when and where you were born. Your birth certificate is a legal document and is confidential. Be sure to keep it in a safe place.

For more information, please contact NEST at 541-342-1295 or drop in Tuesday through Thursday 9:30am to 12:30pm. Please check in first at 341 E 12th Ave.

Lifeline Mobile Phone Program Offering Unlimited Calling During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Lifeline program provides monthly discounts on phone and broadband service to qualifying low-income consumers (one per household). You qualify for Lifeline Based on Your Income and If You Use SNAP, Medicaid, or Other Programs.

Many fixed (landline) Lifeline carriers already offer unlimited local and toll-free calling to their subscribers, and mobile wireless Lifeline carriers that are temporarily offering unlimited calling to subscribers during the COVID-19 pandemic include the following:

For in-person assistance, stop by 323 E 12th Ave Monday through Thursday 9:30am to 1:00pm to get help completing your application from a real person or contact a carrier listed below.

Eugene/Springfield Lifeline Carriers

Cold Weather is Here

White Bird’s Stay Warm Drive Activates

download press release

EUGENE, OREGON – With the onset of cold weather, our most vulnerable community members who are living outdoors face freezing winter conditions. White Bird Clinic is sending out a call for any and all winter gear, particularly socks, warm gloves, blankets and sleeping bags.

For those who spend most of their time outdoors, winter in Eugene can be dangerous, as wet, cold weather makes it hard to stay healthy. Your donation of winter gear makes a difference for people who don’t have a warm and dry place to live. White Bird asks you to partner with us to support under-resourced community members and strengthen our shared culture of caring for one another.

Please bring donations to our main clinic building at 341 E 12th Ave. in Eugene:

  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Coats/Jackets/Sweaters
  • Warm pants
  • Socks/Gloves/Scarves
  • Rain gear
  • Tarps

We’re happy to pick up larger donations. Please call 541-342-8255.

White Bird’s Front Room program offers a warm and dry space. Open from 8am-10pm daily and located at 341 E 12th St. in Eugene, we welcome the community to come in from the cold.


In 1969, a group of student activists and concerned practitioners came together to provide crisis services and free medical care for counter-culture youth in Eugene, OR. Having grown continuously since then, today White Bird Clinic has 10 programs, 220 staff members, and more than 400 volunteers each year.

To celebrate fifty years of service, White Bird is growing, demonstrating our commitment to serving low income, under-resourced community members. We’re expanding many different programs at once, so we’re turning to the community for support and partnership. Please call 541.342.8255 or visit www.whitebirdclinic.org to donate to the project of your choice.

New Health Plan Choices for OHP in Lane County

Did you get a “Pick Your Plan” letter from OHP?

download flyer

This means you have choices to make by November 17 about your health plan for 2020. Health care benefits are staying the same but Lane County has new health plan choices. White Bird Clinic’s Sharing Healthcare Options Program (SHOP) program is here to help at the locations and times below and by appointment. Contact 541-342-1295 for more information.

EUGENE

Catholic Community Services, 1464 W 6th Ave, 3rd Wednesday of the month, 9:00am – 11:00am

Eugene Public Library, 100 W 10th Ave, Friday 11-2pm

Eugene Service Station, 450 Hwy 99 N, every other Thursday, 10-12pm

Eugene Mission, 1542 W 1st Ave, Mondays, 8-10am

White Bird Clinic, 341 E 12th Ave, 10-4 pm, Tuesday-Wednesday

SPRINGFIELD

Catholic Community Services, 1025 G St – Springfield, Last Wednesday of the month, 9:00am – 11:00am

Department Of Human Services, 101 30th St, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1-3pm

Learn More

Community Partners Help Everybody to Stay Warm

We are so thankful for our community partners, who have allowed us to reach far more donors for our annual Stay Warm Drive than we ever thought possible. We especially appreciate the Eugene Weekly for running our Stay Warm Drive ad every week since early December (way beyond what our budget could afford) and our social media followers, who have shared our message with their communities, reaching thousands online.

As a result, we were recently gifted a donation of winter coats, pants, and boots worth $50,000 from a large Northwest clothing manufacturer. In addition to sharing the wealth with our clients, we are also working with Egan Warming Center, St. Vincent de Paul, First Place and Women’s Space to make sure it reaches those with the greatest need.

Stephanie Rothman from KVAL stopped by to learn more last week. Read article…

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.

YOU ARE INVITED to change the world?*Join the tech community NEXT WEEK to develop solutions to 11 local challenges including this one submitted by Alan Glick & White Bird Clinic*Are you in? Learn more here ? ? ?http://hackforacause.org#hack4cause

Posted by Technology Association of Oregon in the Southern Willamette Valley on Tuesday, 3 April 2018

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.

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.

 

Jill Heiman Vision Fund Helps White Bird Clinic Provide Cold Weather Gear

Living on the streets is even harder without a sleeping bag. Thanks to a generous donation from the Jill Heiman Vision Fund, White Bird Clinic greatly increased our supply of cold weather gear during the coldest months of 2017-2018. When the weather turns to rain and sleet, unhoused residents of Lane County come to our clinic seeking warm clothing and bedding. We used funds to bulk order some of our most requested items.

Tarps, sleeping bags, socks, gloves, and hats are vital for people living outdoors in cold weather. White Bird collects donated items every year from community partners and supporters, but these unfortunately are never quite enough to meet community need. The Jill Heiman funds enabled us to buy items efficiently, in large quantities. We purchased 480 tarps, 320 sleeping bags, 2,550 pairs of socks, 240 pairs of gloves, and 240 knit winter hats. Most of these items have already been dispersed to folks in need, and the remaining stock will be depleted well before the cold weather ends.

Three of our departments distributed the grant funded purchases. Front Rooms, a respite and light day use resource in Eugene, distributed most of the items. Case managers from the Homeless department accessed gear for their clients. Some supplies, particularly sleeping bags, were distributed by CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets), White Bird’s mobile crisis service. The people who received gear were mostly unhoused residents in neighborhoods on the east side of Eugene, though some reached people in the greater Eugene/Springfield metro area.

White Bird is a collective environment organized to enable people to gain control of their social, emotional and physical well-being through direct service, education and community. We greatly appreciate the kind and expedient support we’ve received from the Jill Heiman Fund both for this project, and in the past. You helped us provide critically needed winter wear for Lane County’s unhoused and underserved community members.

Many thanks to the Jill Heiman Fund Committee and our beloved Fair Family!