Positive Resource Center remains the only place for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS to get comprehensive benefits counseling and employment services in San Francisco.
The organization has led the service community’s response to the changes in the epidemic since its inception, and is regarded as the model program in the United States for agencies hoping to offer similar services. PRC was the first agency to assist people living with HIV/AIDS with comprehensive counseling for obtaining essential financial and medical benefits combined with a full spectrum of vocational rehabilitation and employment services. Furthermore, PRC provides training and technical assistance throughout California on complex benefits issues.
Through PRC’s continuum of services, clients receive no-cost access to:
- Professional benefits analysis, advocacy, and counseling about accessing public and private financial and health care benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), long-term disability, health insurance, life insurance, and Medi-Cal.
- Representation before administrative law judges for reconsideration of disability denials.
- Employment and vocational rehabilitation planning, counseling and coordination, job development and job search assistance, support groups, and computer access and training for clients entering or re-entering the workplace.
- Regular workshops/clinics designed to equip people with HIV/AIDS to consider and develop employment goals and plans as well as understand their legal rights and responsibilities concerning benefits, employment, housing, and credit.
Why we exist
Either HIV or mental illness disables all of PRC’s clients. According to a recent report from the US Census Bureau, people with disabilities live with substantially more disadvantages than people who are not disabled, including a much higher poverty rate, less access to insurance, and lower earnings.
There are federal and state programs in place that can provide these individuals with entitlement income, but the Social Security Administration denies fully 80% of all claims for Supplemental Security Income, the most basic safety net income program offered by the federal government. What these individuals need is the expert legal representation provided by the attorneys in our Benefits Counseling Program.
In San Francisco, over half of the 20,000 people living with HIV/AIDS are estimated to be unemployed. The complexity of HIV requires a unique approach to vocational planning unavailable at any agency not specifically tailored to the needs of this population. With special HIV/AIDS training and sensitivity, the Employment Services Program staff provides services that integrate medical, psycho-social, financial and vocational considerations essential to work-related planning.
For more than 20 years Positive Resource Center has been providing crucial services to the community. Since our inception, we have helped our clients access life saving disability income and gainful employment, ultimately providing them with a baseline of financial and healthcare security.