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Notice of Job Posting: Reentry Disability Coordinator

Summary

Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC) is hiring a temporary, part time employee to develop a program to help soon-to-be-released prisoners get public benefits.  The work is expected to be completed by July 1, 2020. There may be an opportunity to extend the position into full-time to implement the program, but this job posting is for the development phase only.

Responsibilities

The Reentry Disability Coordinator will, under the supervision of UPLC attorneys, and in coordination with UPLC’s Director of Development & Communications, prepare a proposal to be presented to the Illinois prison system and other interested parties for a pre-release program focused on assisting prisoners applying for Social Security disability benefits, and identifying other public benefits for which they might be eligible upon release. As part of this effort, the Reentry Disability Coordinator will:

  • Research existing programs and collaborate with similar organizations throughout the country to develop a program to help people about to be released from prison access public benefits.
  • Conduct visits to Illinois prisons to meet with and obtain input from current prisoners and correctional staff interested in this program.
  • Meet with officials from Illinois’ prison system to discuss implementation and funding opportunities.
  • Seek out additional funding opportunities via organizational, state, and federal grants.
  • Work with UPLC staff and attorneys to integrate with current office programming and create training materials and an operations manual.

In addition to developing a formal program proposal, the Reentry Disability Coordinator will work with stakeholders in the community to obtain input into the program design, and gather support for, this initiative.

Qualifications:

  • Minimum of three years applicable experience, which could include, but is not limited to, representation of applicants for Social Security benefits, grant management, program development, and/or policy work.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work with diverse groups of people.
  • The ability to take initiative, self-motivate, and juggle multiple tasks.

Travel Requirements

Travel to Wisconsin and various prisons throughout Illinois will be required. Many of these locations are not accessible by public transit. Therefore, a drivers’ license is required.

Required Hours

This is a half-time position, approximately 20 hours a week. The project is expected to be completed by July 1, 2020. The specific hours worked are flexible, but should fit into traditional work hours, Monday through Friday 9:30am to 5:00pm.

NOTE: Non-traditional hours – occasional weekends and evenings – may be required.

Other Information

The salary for this position is $20-25/hour, depending on experience. No benefits are provided, but all travel expenses will be paid. People of color and/or formerly incarcerated people are encouraged to apply. UPLC is an equal opportunity employer.

To Apply

Email a resume and cover letter to hiring@uplcchicago.org to apply. Please, no phone calls or social media messages about this position.

Organization Background

Uptown People’s Law Center focuses on serving people who live in Uptown and surrounding areas, and/or people who are or were incarcerated in Illinois’ prisons and jails. Our work is focused on three areas: representing disabled people who have been denied Social Security disability benefits, usually before an Administrative Law Judge; representing tenants who are facing eviction, or other issues relating to their tenancy; and representing prisoners in civil rights lawsuits.  

UPLC is one of the only organizations in Illinois that actively represents prisoners in both class action matters, as well as individual cases. UPLC receives over 100 letters from prisoners each week, and has amassed a database of correspondence from over 11,000 prisoners. Our staff records and responds to each letter, and uses the information to inform our class action lawsuits against the Illinois prison system. We currently have six class action lawsuits filed against the Illinois prison system, as well as 16 individual cases and 4 impact lawsuits, which will impact broad numbers of Illinois prisoners.

  • Kenneth & Harle Montgomery Foundation