Lydia Gottesfeld is the Managing Attorney of the CLS Health and Independence Unit. In that role, she oversees CLS’s work keeping low-income people connected to critical safety net public benefits–including health insurance, nutrition support, and cash assistance–as well as CLS’s work advocating for older adults and disabled people to access long term care, reside in their setting of choice, and retain decision making power. She represents clients in denials, terminations, and reductions of benefits and engages in significant systemic advocacy to improve benefits systems. Ms. Gottesfeld joined CLS as an Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow in 2014 with a project to establish CLS’s first medical-legal partnership and spent her early career developing the medical-legal partnership program. She previously worked as a health care advocate at Families USA and as a community organizer at Citizen Action of New York.
Ms. Gottesfeld received her J.D. summa cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law, where she was a Public Interest/Public Service Scholar, and is a magna cum laude graduate of Colgate University.