Legal Services We Can Provide
Rainbow Health’s Legal Services provide legal advice, brief services, and direct representation for HIV–related issues or, particularly in the healthcare context, sexual orientation, or gender identity. If your legal issue does not fall within this scope, we may be able to provide information and referrals to other organizations or advocacy resources, potentially including volunteer or low–fee attorneys and other legal services providers when appropriate. We offer both free and fee-based legal services. In addition to direct legal services, we also provide support to service providers and the general public by answering questions, conducting training, and providing educational materials as capacity permits.
We provide free consultations. Additionally, we offer direct representation by either staff or (where possible) volunteer attorneys to clients living with HIV who have incomes below 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines when the legal issue stems directly from an individual’s HIV status. We provide limited Social Security Disability services for a fee for clients who are living with HIV but who have incomes above 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For matters not falling into either category, Rainbow Health legal staff will discuss with you whether there is a fee or not.
Rainbow Health reserves the right to decline representation where we do not believe we could be of assistance.
All services are provided by referral. Service providers and clients are required to use the referral packet and send it by fax to (612) 373-9178. For more information or help in completing the referral form, please contact the Minnesota AIDSLine at (612) 373-2437.
Rainbow Health staff and volunteers provide legal assistance in the following areas (some services as noted are limited to People Living with HIV only):
Access and Stigma Reduction Services
- Health Insurance Access: Assistance and advocacy for individuals denied insurance coverage or access to health care services, particularly where related to HIV or gender transition care
- Discrimination: Consultation, referral, or direct assistance with situations involving unfair treatment relating to gender identity, sexual orientation, or HIV status by service providers, landlords, or government entities
- Employment: Consultation, referral, or direct assistance in cases involving discrimination on the job, job security, protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other employment issues
- Confidentiality: For People Living with HIV Only: Assistance with cases involving privacy, testing, and medical records; for others: referral to other resources where possible
- Immigration: For People Living with HIV Only: Assistance with asylum, naturalization, and other immigration issues through the use of volunteer attorneys; for others: referral to other resources where possible
Disability Planning Services
- Debtor and Creditor: For People Living with HIV Only. Assistance with resolving debt issues with creditors and debt collectors; for others: referral to other resources where possible
- Estate Planning and Probate: For People Living with HIV Only: Assistance with drafting wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and other estate tools; for others: assistance with the power of attorney and healthcare directive paperwork.
- Permanency Planning: For People Living with HIV Only. Assistance for families with planning for the care of their children in the event of the parent’s incapacity or incompetence
- Social Security Disability: Assistance in Social Security (SSI and SSDI) cases including initial applications, denials of benefits, appeals, and hearings.