Advocates in action.
MCIL’s Individual Advocacy assists people in setting and meeting their goals. By connecting individuals to essential resources, helping participants understand their options, and providing guidance through potential roadblocks, the MCIL Advocate supports all aspects of a person’s aspirational pursuits.
Some ways MCIL Individual Advocacy can help:
- Navigating Social Security and how to apply, managing SSDI and SSI benefits, and providing resource referrals to develop individualized Plans to Achieve Self Support (PASS).
- Understanding and applying for health care benefits such as Medical Assistance, MA for Employed People with Disabilities, Medicare, and using MN Sure to shop for individual insurance plans.
- Understanding county waiver programs and how to apply.
- Providing information about housing options, voucher programs, how to search for affordable housing, understanding renters’ rights and responsibilities.
- Learning about and utilizing transportation options, including bus training and Metro Mobility applications.
- Strengthening soft skills and self-image, increasing assertiveness, confidence, and ability to advocate for oneself.
- Learning the basics of money management, including tips to creating and sticking to a budget.
- Mastering time management and organization skills.
- Exploring ways to talk to your legislator to advocate for systems change, keep up on relevant public policy, and be more engaged in civic life.
- Coordinating services with other agencies and organizations.
- Connecting you to other community resources to help address your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is advocacy? What does an advocate do?
Advocacy is an activity to support an issue, interest, cause, or idea. Self-advocacy is the action of advocating for yourself. At MCIL, Individual Advocacy means working with an individual one-to-one to help accomplish personal goals or objectives.
MCIL’s Individual Advocacy connects individuals with a staff advocate who will listen to concerns, gain a better understanding of the situation and needs, identify approaches and solutions, and help outline options.
It’s a partnership. We don’t do things for the individual, but rather help a person make decisions and take action to meet their personal goals. We aim to help individuals be self-empowered, make choices that are right for them and to become their own best self-advocate.
Common areas in which we provide help include: Applying for benefits like Medical Assistance, Social Security, or waivered programs; helping people find useful resources in our community; and sharing how to and apply for affordable, accessible housing that suits their needs.
How do I qualify to work with an advocate at MCIL?
Anyone with a disability or disabilities is eligible to receive advocacy services from MCIL. These services are provided at no cost to the individual. Other programs at MCIL do have eligibility requirements, which often require having services authorized by a case manager, or payment through Medical Assistance (MA) or a waiver.
How are you able to help me for free?
The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living receives funding from the state of Minnesota and the federal government to operate some of our programs, including Individual Advocacy. There is no fee to work with MCIL advocates.
Does MCIL have housing?
MCIL advocates assist individuals in searching for affordable, accessible housing, applying for subsidized or market-rate housing, and connecting you to existing resources in the community. In some cases, we can provide assistance moving into suitable housing. We do not have financial assistance programs or grants for housing, and we do not run any housing facilities.
Does MCIL offer legal advice or legal services?
MCIL doesn’t offer legal services or advice, but we can refer inquiries to several agencies that may be able to assist with legal questions and concerns. Legal resources include:
For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also call the Advocacy Hotline at 651-321-8558