Project Access Client Informational Brochure
University of Chicago Hospitals 

What is Project Access?
Project Access is a program designed to provide case management services and legal help to families with babies admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) after birth because they are born prematurely or have certain medical complications.
Project Access teams up lawyers from Health & Disability Advocates – a non-profit legal group specializing in public benefits law – and a case manager from this hospital who will work together to provide you with comprehensive public benefits and social services. 

What services will the Project offer my family?
Your Project Access case manager will assist you in applying for a broad range of public benefits including:

  • Public Aid

  • Food Stamps

  • WIC (food and nutrition program for women and children)

  • Medicaid

  • Social Security Disability

  • Supplemental Security Income

  • Division of Specialized Care for Children

  • Early Intervention

Your case manager and your lawyer will help you in signing up for those benefits that you may be entitled to and in representing you to get those benefits. In addition, your case manager and lawyer will work as a team to assist your family with tasks such as: scheduling medical appointments; arranging transportation and child care; helping you with insurance coverage and housing problems; and getting special early intervention and educational services to help your child develop appropriately. What will participation in the Project cost me?
You and your family will not be charged any fee by Project Access for the services that they may provide you.

What will participation in the Project require me to do?

Your case manager and your lawyer will keep in touch with you throughout your participation in the Project to make sure that you are receiving the medical care and legal help that is needed.  They will expect you to keep appointments and to provide the information and documents necessary to receive benefits, social services, and medical care.  You will also be asked to complete periodic questionnaires describing your contact with Project Access.  This will enable the Project’s staff to evaluate the program’s success and assess its on-going needs and development.

How long will my involvement with the Project last?

Most families who agree to participate in Project Access will be part of the program for one year or less.  However, if needed, Project Access services can continue until a child reaches age three.  The length of your participation in the Project will vary, depending on your family’s needs and the nature of the help you request. 

Who should I contact when I have questions about Project Access?

If you have any questions about Project Access, contact your case manager or your lawyer at the numbers listed below:

My case manager is:   Elaine Mister 773-834-0592.
My lawyer is:      Laura Barnickol, 312-223-9600, ext. 15.
Project Access
Health & Disability Advocates 
205 W. Monroe  
3rd Floor  
Chicago, IL  60606  
Phone: 312-223-9600  
Fax: 312-223-9518