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Federally Funded Programs

DRRI helps people with legal issues related to their disabilities. The different kinds of assistance we provide includes:

  • Information and referral to other agencies that can help you;
  • Offering individual advice and representation on priority legal issues;
  • Advocating for systems change to benefit groups of people with disabilities
  • Investigating allegations of abuse or neglect in settings that serve people with disabilities

We administer nine federally funded advocacy programs, each of which has its own eligibility criteria.

These programs are:

PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES (PADD) PROGRAM

PADD provides legal assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities and advocacy to remedy abuse or neglect of these individuals.  A developmental disability is a severe physical, cognitive, or emotional impairment which begins before age 22, is likely to continue indefinitely, and interferes with three or more major life activities. The PADD program was created by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights (DD) Act of 1975. Federal administering agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS (PAIMI) PROGRAM

PAIMI provides legal assistance to individuals with mental illness and advocacy to remedy abuse or neglect of these individuals.  The PAIMI program was established by Congress in 1986.  Federal administering agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services.

PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS (PAIR) PROGRAM

PAIR provides advocacy to individuals with disabilities who are not eligible for other protection and advocacy programs.  This program has the same authority as the PADD program to remedy abuse and neglect. PAIR was established by Congress as a national program under the Rehabilitation Act as amended in 1993. Federal administering agency: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Rehabilitative Services Administration.

CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CAP)

CAP provides advocacy to individuals with disabilities applying for or receiving services from vocational rehabilitation, independent living, and services for the blind and visually impaired. We also can advocate for the employment rights (Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act) of vocational rehabilitation clients. Federal administering agency: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Rehabilitative Services Administration.

PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (PAAT) PROGRAM

PAAT provides advocacy to individuals with disabilities seeking access to assistive technology devices and services, with emphasis on obtaining funding from public funding sources, e.g., vocational rehabilitation, special education, Medicaid, and Medicare.  Federal administering agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (PATBI) PROGRAM

PATBI provides advocacy to individuals with traumatic brain injury, with emphasis on improving access to comprehensive, high quality health care services and increasing the quality, availability, and effectiveness of educational and community-based programs designed to improve the quality of life for these individuals. PATBI is authorized by the Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996 and its reauthorization as part of the Children’s Health Act of 2000.  Federal administering agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR VOTING ACCESSIBILITY (PAVA) PROGRAM

PAVA provides advocacy to individuals with disabilities in order to expand and improve access to and participation in the electoral process.  Federal administering agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Click here to view more information about the PAVA Program.

PROTECTION AND ADVOCACY FOR BENEFICIARIES OF SOCIAL SECURITY (PABSS) PROGRAM

PABSS provides advocacy to individuals receiving Social Security disability benefits who are seeking to secure, maintain, or regain employment.  In addition to helping beneficiaries seeking to use Social Security Administration (SSA) work incentives, our authority has been broadened to work on a wide array of legal issues that may constitute a barrier to employment. The PABSS Program is authorized by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999. Federal administering agency: U.S. Social Security Administration.

STRENGTHENING PROTECTIONS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFICIARIES (REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE) PROGRAM

The Representative Payee Program investigates how representative payees are administering funds paid to Social Security beneficiaries.  In addition to onsite individual or organizational representative payee reviews assigned by the Social Security Administration, discretionary reviews based on allegations of payee misconduct  and educational visits are also conducted. The PABRP program was unanimously passed in Congress and The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018 was signed into Law in April 2018.  Federal administering agency:  U.S. Social Security Administration. 

For more information about Rep Payees, see this short video: