After living with Crohn’s disease for more than thirty years, Jennifer C. Jaff’s physical deterioration made her successful career as a trial attorney increasingly difficult. She realized that, despite her desire to continue practicing law, she would have to find work that would accommodate her progressively demanding health issues. In 2002, when Ms. Jaff began searching for a way to combine her legal skills with her personal experiences, she discovered an entire community of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis sufferers who were seeking advocacy and legal representation. Her work with them began when she filed and won first a disability retirement appeal and then a disability insurance appeal. And that was when it occurred to her that so many of these people were facing similar issues and asking similar questions. In response, she wrote what has become our Know Your Rights handbook, now in its Fourth Edition. And in March 2005, she founded Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness.
Since 2002, Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness has grown from Ms. Jaff’s initial case-by-case approach into a thriving agency with a knowledgeable, experienced team of staff, volunteers, and student interns who assist over 1500 patients per year. Among our many ongoing efforts, we regularly:
- file insurance appeals (with an 80% success rate)
- negotiate reasonable accommodations in work and at school;
- help patients assert their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act;
- help people to find resources on insurance, free medication, and housing;
- file comments on regulations implementing reform from the unique perspective of patients with chronic illness;
The Chronicity Project: the “public policy arm” of our agency, includes:
- a book of client experiences to assist policymakers in understanding chronic illness through personal stories
- a video on living with chronic illness
With our partner, the University of Michigan Center for Managing Chronic Disease, we conducted a study funded by the National Institutes of Health examining the obstacles faced by the chronically ill and the strategies they used to surmount those obstacles.
We hope you find what you need here, but if you don’t, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or (860) 674-1370.