Marco* originally came to Taller de José because he had received notices from Social Security that he was having difficulty understanding. After reviewing the letters with Marco, a compañero from Taller de José also learned that Marco was entitled to receive pension and retirement benefits from his union, but Marco was unsure how to access these benefits. The compañero offered to assist Marco with the process, and over the course of several months, the staff member advocated to the Union on Marco’s behalf. Because Marco only spoke Spanish, the staff member assisted Marco in communicating with the Union and completing the necessary paperwork.
However, after submitting all the documents and information, Marco waited months without a response. Marco and the compañero tried calling the offices without success. Finally, the staff member encouraged Marco to take action, and offered to accompany Marco to the union office to inquire about his application. As a result of their visit, Marco’s paperwork was approved and he began receiving the benefits he had worked so hard to receive. With his compañero’s encouragement, Marco was empowered to advocate for himself and is now proud to be receiving his benefits.
*All stories are based on real clients at Taller de José. Names and images have been changed to protect client privacy.