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NYC Community Resources Database

What Is Advocacy?

Advocacy is the act or process of advocating or supporting a cause or proposal. Through both direct aid to families and broader-based policy work, the goal of patient advocacy is to foster the self-empowerment of families by educating them about their rights and benefits for which they are eligible.

General Advocacy Tips to Help Patients
  1. Empower patients by providing access to information about their rights and offering assistance with government benefits application process.
  2. Encourage patients to apply for government benefits such as food stamps, welfare, Home Energy Assistance (HEAP) and Social Security disability.
  3. Encourage patients to reapply for government assistance or file timely appeals if their government benefits are denied. Because appeals are time-sensitive, encourage patients to appeal first and then search for an attorney.
  4. Encourage patients and their families to consider alternative sources of income (e.g., food stamps, fuel subsidies, child care vouchers, etc.).
  5. Document each patient's needs for services on charts.
  6. Contact each patient's landlord or agency case worker to address housing/family problems. Request an action to be taken.

See Sample Advocacy Letter Requesting Services.

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