Prepared by the National Center Lesbian Rights and Legal Services of Northern California, this guide provides an overview and study of California and federal law for attorneys and advocates who are assisting LGBT clients with public benefits issues in California. While this paper does not offer step-by-step instructions for applying benefits law, it instead examines the unique issues that the LGBT community can face when applying for and trying to receive benefits in the state. These issues can arise from areas such as conflicting federal laws, gender classifications, definitions of family relationships and parentage, and the guide provides practice tips for attorneys and advocates in order to combat such problems. Topics covered in this guide include, but are not limited to: Social Security, Medi-Cal, Medicare, health insurance coverage for transgender people, income assistance and financial programs, state unemployment, and Veteran's benefits.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.