BBA Public Interest Leaders Continue Community Reentry Readiness Series with Seminar on Government Benefits

On Wednesday, May 1st, the BBA’s Public Interest Leadership Program conducted a third seminar for its ongoing Community Reentry Readiness Series.  Julia Devanthéry of Harvard Law School’s Legal Service Center led the workshop on government benefits for low-income people in Massachusetts and was joined by Ellen Shachter of Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services, who is an expert on the topic. This session, which took place at the Moakley Courthouse, was attended by 24 federal probationers from the CARE and RESTART programs.

Here’s what Julia had to say. . .

“Our goal in giving the public benefits workshop was to present participants with practical information about how to apply for and obtain assistance that will support their reentry.  We covered cash assistance programs such as SSI/SSDI and EAEDC, as well as non-cash programs like MassHealth and SNAP. Ellen Shachter’s expertise in this area is unmatched, and she was able to answer the participants’ complex questions about the interaction between earned income and disability benefits. In the end, participants reported feeling empowered by the presentation, and we hope that they carry our mantra of persistence with them as they take steps towards securing critical public benefits.”