NOSSCR   1300 I Street, NW, Suite 825, Washington, DC 20005

Awards and Scholarships

Eileen P. Sweeney Distinguished Service Award

NOSSCR presents the Eileen P. Sweeney Distinguished Service Award to one or more individuals whose outstanding service has resulted in a significant:

  • Improvement in the quality of advocacy for Social Security claimants,
  • Increase in the availability of advocacy for Social Security claimants, or
  • Improvement in the Social Security adjudicatory process.


Eileen P. Sweeney was a nationally recognized expert on issues affecting people with disabilities who receive federal welfare benefits. From the time she was in college, through her work as a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, she sought to improve the lives of children, battered women, senior citizens, the poor and people with disabilities. From 1998 until her death in 2006, her focus had been the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs. An advocate for the invisible in society, Ms. Sweeney assembled coalitions and coordinated litigation to help the people she thought needed it most. (Washington Post 7/2/2006).  With this award, we honor her exemplary character and career.

Special consideration will be given to individuals whose service is provided on a pro bono basis. Award nominations must be made by a NOSSCR member, but the award recipient need not be a NOSSCR member. Nominations may be sent by providing the information requested here.  Additional information may be requested.

To see a list of past recipients, click here.

Nancy G. Shor Leadership Award

In May 2014, the NOSSCR Board created the “Nancy G. Shor Leadership Award.”  This award, named in honor of NOSSCR’s founder and Executive Director from 1979 through 2013, will be awarded to an individual or organization that has shown exceptional leadership greatly benefiting NOSSCR or its constituents.  A NOSSCR member, non-member, or an organization whose work and actions have gone above and beyond for NOSSCR or its constituents is eligible to receive this award.  Award recipients will be chosen on the basis of their expertise, professionalism, and leadership, as well as their role in enhancing NOSSCR’s reputation as an outstanding, effective, and respected organization.

Nancy G. Shor, the first recipient of this award in 2015, founded NOSSCR in 1979 to advocate for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income claimants and their legal representatives.  She served as NOSSCR’s Executive Director from 1979 to 2013, and was Senior Policy Advisor for NOSSCR from 2013 until her retirement in 2016.  It is through Nancy’s leadership that NOSSCR is recognized by the Social Security Administration, members of Congress and the public as an organization speaking on behalf of those living with disabilities.

With this award, we honor Nancy’s exemplary vision, leadership, and dedication to establishing NOSSCR as the pre-eminent organization advocating on behalf of Social Security representatives, claimants and beneficiaries.

The award will be presented when an appropriate recipient is identified.  Award nominations must be made by a NOSSCR member, but the recipient need not be a NOSSCR member. Nominations may be sent by providing the information requested here.  Additional information may be requested.

To see a list of past recipients, click here.

Rudolph Patterson Scholarship

In May 2014, the NOSSCR Council of Past Presidents unanimously voted to establish the Rudolph Patterson Scholarship, named in honor of founding NOSSCR member and past President Rudolph Patterson of Macon, Georgia.  Recognizing Mr. Patterson’s commitment to both NOSSCR and the importance of ongoing training and learning, preference for this award will be given to NOSSCR members with financial need to attend a conference, including, but not limited to, attorneys in legal services, clinics, solo firms and newly admitted attorneys.

Rudolph passed away in 2016.  He was a visionary who helped to create NOSSCR and long advocated for people with disabilities.  He was instrumental in getting private attorneys to represent SSI claimants, and created several partnerships between legal services organizations and the private bar to forward this goal.

In addition to NOSSCR, Rudolph devoted much of his legal career to the State Bar of Georgia and the ABA, serving as president of the Georgia State Bar and as a member of the Georgia Board of Governors for almost two decades.  He received several awards throughout his career, including Distinguished Service Awards from both NOSSCR and the State Bar of Georgia, and the ABA General Practice and Trial Section’s Tradition of Excellence award.

Contributions to the Rudolph Patterson Scholarship are gratefully accepted.  Please send a check payable to NOSSCR with a donation for this scholarship.

To apply for the Rudolph Patterson Scholarship or other conference scholarships, please email a description of your need and the profile of your legal services or other program to nosscr@nosscr.org.

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