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.