2022 WEJF Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Attorney Matthew Hayes has dedicated his career to providing free legal services to individuals with challenging legal issues who are unable to afford a lawyer. For the past sixteen years, Matthew has been the SeniorLAW Project Director at Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc., where he has provided direct legal services to hundreds of older residents of Milwaukee County. He represents individuals who are being improperly denied or terminated from public benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as individuals with dementia or physical limitations whose long-term care services are being denied or reduced. He also represents older people being evicted from their nursing home or apartment. Additionally, Matthew provides technical assistance to and accepts referrals from Elder Benefit Specialists (EBS) working in Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) in six southeastern Wisconsin counties. Matthew’s first position with Legal Action involved representing non-custodial parents in paternity actions as part of Legal Action’s Child Support Project. Prior to Legal Action, Matthew worked for a domestic violence service provider in Jefferson County where he represented survivors of domestic abuse to obtain domestic abuse and harassment injunctions.