Pamela Dyson

Pamela Dyson has overcome many obstacles in her life. She was born with spina bifida, a birth defect of the spinal cord, which resulted in her right leg being amputated above the knee. As a result of her condition, Ms. Dyson needs to use wheelchair.

Ms. Dyson relies on a modest fixed income and SNAP (aka food stamps) to pay her rent and household expenses. However in 2017, her benefits were abruptly terminated while she was in the hospital. The Department of Human Services (DHS) claimed that she had failed to submit a food stamp recertification application, though she had not received any notice. Ms. Dyson completed and submitted the recertification to DHS but never received her food stamps. DHS told her that there was no record of her submission for recertification.

“I thank God for Legal Aid.”

That’s when she began working with Legal Aid Public Benefits Unit attorney Harmony Jones. With Legal Aid on her side, DHS admitted the agency’s failure on multiple fronts. They agreed to reinstate Ms. Dyson’s food stamps and issue her retroactive benefits for the months she went without food stamps.

Ms. Dyson recently earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice. Her goal is to start working as a case manager for a legal services provider to help others in her community who face similar challenges.

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