Volunteer Legal Advocacy Program - Volunteer Legal Advocacy Program

Volunteer Legal and Advocacy Program (VLAP) – AB & NWT

Volunteer Position Description

Purpose:  

To assist people experiencing multiple sclerosis (MS) with advocacy concerns and the completion of complex forms and applications related but not limited to federal, provincial and territorial income support programs, such as Canada Pension Plan-Disability (CPP-D) benefits, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) and the Income Assistance Program, respectively.  

Responsibilities:  

  • Working with the Coordinator, Advocacy and Support for the Alberta and Northwest Territories (AB & NWT) Division to respond to and complete requests for volunteer support and should additional advocacy issues arise (e.g., access to accessible housing, healthcare, etc.) during the below mentioned regular duties 
  • Working with another volunteer to schedule meetings with persons with MS in need of advocacy support that will occur via phone, email, Skype and/or at a local MS Society office 
  • Working with another volunteer to assist people with MS to complete their CPP-D and/or AISH or Income Assistance Program application(s) as required 
  • Assist applicants to organize their symptom and function information for applications 
  • Discuss sensitive information to assist in identifying and describing applicants’ relevant experiences, including the impacts of MS on daily living and function 
 
 

 Desired Skills, Attitudes and Knowledge:  

  • Detail-oriented 
  • Patient and enjoys working with people 
  • Empathic, supportive with a positive attitude and a good listener 
  • Computer skills: e-mail and Microsoft Word or equivalent 
  • Willingness to participate in quality control activities such as completing required forms, conference calls, periodic file reviews, etc. 
  • Knowledge of MS and income support applications is an asset, but is not required  
  • Ability to work and ask interview questions over the phone 
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team 
  • Strong English language skills 
 
 

 Training and Orientation: 

  • Complete a criminal records check (facilitated by the MS Society) 
  • Participate in all online and telephone training, which will include:  
  • Orientation to the MS Society and MS 
  • Application specific training for CPP-D, AISH and other programs as required 

Time Commitment: 

  • A two-year commitment is requested because of the extensive training required 
  • The yearly time commitment varies depending on the number of requests received from people with MS who require advocacy support 
  • The time required for each applicant varies from 1-2 hours to several meetings (10-15 hours in total) 
  • Appointments with applicants can be scheduled based on the convenience of the volunteers and the applicant 
 
 

Supervisory Relationships / Liaison:  

  • Alberta and Northwest Territories Division; Coordinator, Advocacy and Support 
  • National VLAP Coordinator 

 Benefits of Volunteering in VLAP 

  • Assisting individuals experiencing MS and, indirectly, their support networks 
  • Greater understanding of MS and the effects of a chronic medical condition 
  • Gaining in-depth knowledge about government resources and the processes behind complex advocacy work, applications and programs, such as CPP-D and AISH 
  • Experience working in the non-profit and health services sector 

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact and provide their resume to the Coordinator, Volunteer Resources at 1-800-268-7582 or jody.deckert@mssociety.ca.

 

Schedule Summary

This activity generally occurs on

  • Monday - All Day
  • Tuesday - All Day
  • Wednesday - All Day
  • Thursday - All Day
  • Friday - All Day
  • Saturday - All Day
  • Sunday - All Day