News from the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network
More than a million Pennsylvania residents would lose their health insurance and more than 2.5 million seniors could lose protection from large prescription costs if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, according to data contained in a major report released by the Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative (PHFC).
In addition, virtually every Pennsylvanian with private health insurance – nearly 10 million people – would lose valuable protections including coverage for pre-existing conditions, limits on age-related premium increases, elimination of life-time limits and a ban on insurance companies using medical information to refuse coverage or set higher premiums, and the right for children to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
The deadline for application submissions during this cycle is Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has released the January 2017 edition of Health Law PA News. Health Law PA News is a free newsletter containing the latest news relating to Health Law in Pennsylvania. You can subscribe to receive the PHLP eNews, which links to the Health Law PA News on the PHLP website at www.phlp.org.
If you worked last year and your income is less than $53,505, check out your eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITC can mean up to a $6,269 refund when you file a return and have qualifying children. Workers with no qualifying children could be eligible for a smaller credit, up to 506 dollars. In Pennsylvania last year EITC added an average of $2,271 to refunds.
Elder Justice Resource Center of Philadelphia Courts to Work with Temple University Beasley School of Law to Provide Free Legal Assistance to Seniors
The Elder Justice Resource Center of the First Judicial District (Philadelphia Courts) will begin working with Temple University Beasley School of Law on February 1, 2017 to offer free legal assistance to unrepresented seniors, age 60 and above, via the school's Elderly Law In-House Clinical Program.
Located in Room 278, Philadlphia City Hall, the Elder Justice Resource Center will be open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. In-house clinical services will be offered every Wednesday.
The National Legal Aid & Defender Association will be hosting a free webinar entitled Civil Legal Aid, Indigent Defense and the Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Programs Final Regulation: What Practitioners Need to Know About the New Federal Child Support Regulation on Friday, January 13, 2017 from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm.
In response to the report, CLS is calling on the Department of Housing and Urban Development, City of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority to take action to protect affordable housing for low-income tenants in the City.
The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has released the November-December 2016 edition of Health Law PA News. Health Law PA News is a free newsletter containing the latest news relating to Health Law in Pennsylvania. You can subscribe to receive the PHLP eNews, which links to the Health Law PA News on the PHLP website.
As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to prevent and end homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a record $1.95 billion in grants to nearly 7,600 homeless assistance programs across throughout the nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
HUD’s Continuum of Care grants provide critically needed support to local programs on the front lines of serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Programs in Pennsylvania are scheduled to receive in excess of $100 milllion in this round of grants. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.
Lawsuit Filed Challenging Allegheny County Jail’s Practice of Placing Pregnant Women in Solitary Confinement
A lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Pittsburgh challenging the way officials treat pregnant women held at the Allegheny County Jail. The lawsuit alleges that jail officials routinely place pregnant women in solitary confinement for extended periods of time without justification, knowing full well that this practice can harm the health of the women and their pregnancies.
The suit was filed on behalf of five preganant inmates at the facility by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania, the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC), the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project (PILP), and Reed Smith LLP. Attorneys for the women are asking that the complaint be certified as a class-action.
The Practising Law Institute is offering a free on-demand course entitled Bankruptcy Basics for Low-Income Clients 2016, as part of its commitment to support pro bono representation of indigent individuals.
This basic program was developed for brand new practitioners and those who are either not familiar with the practice or have not practiced bankruptcy law since the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). The program will focus on Chapter 7 bankruptcy, from the day a new client walks into your office, to the day you receive notice that they have successfully received a discharge and their case is closed.
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. (PLAN) is honored to announce the 2017 Excellence Award winners as well as the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership in Support of Legal Services. The exceptional individuals, groups and corporation receiving awards have demonstrated excellence in their efforts to expand access to justice for those who have nowhere else to turn for help when facing a critical legal problem.
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award winners will be formally honored at the PLAN Excellence Award Banquet on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Hilton Harrisburg in Harrisburg, PA. The ceremony will feature a video tribute of each honoree highlighting their accomplishments.
The Justice Department has issued the first annual report of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (WH-LAIR) to President Obama. The report, entitled “Expanding Access to Justice, Strengthening Federal Programs,” documents the significant steps that the 22 federal agency members of WH-LAIR have taken to integrate civil legal aid into programs designed to serve low-income and vulnerable people. The Attorney General and the Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC) co-chair WH-LAIR.
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (“CLS”) and Berger & Montague, P.C. jointly announce a $586,000 settlement of a claim brought by Plaintiff Jeniffer Santiago Rivera on behalf of a class of 268 home health aides who alleged that they were denied overtime pay by their employer, Vital Support Home Health Care Agency, Inc. (“VSHHA”).
On November 1, 2016, Magistrate Judge Timothy R. Rice of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an order granting final approval of the settlement agreement. Class members will receive close to 100% of their unpaid overtime premiums as a result of the settlement.
The National Network of Business Law Pro Bono Providers (National Network) and the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo), with support from Pro Bono Net, have collaborated for the first time to launch a nationwide resource hotline for nonprofits regarding upcoming changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is currently seeking nominations and sponsorships for the 2017 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards. The Excellence Awards honor members and friends of the legal aid community who exemplify excellence in their commitment and accomplishments as advocates for low-income people.
The celebration will be held on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Hilton Harrisburg Hotel. A social hour will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., immediately followed by a buffet dinner
The Social Security Administration has announced the launch of a new Health IT initiative with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that enables all Social Security disability case processing sites to receive medical records electronically from all VA facilities. Veterans will receive a faster decision on their Social Security disability claim, speeding them and their dependents through this new process. Both agencies will save time and money with an automatic request through the eHealth Exchange.
Philadelphia City Council Authorizes Hearings to Examine Landlord-Tenant Concerns and Right To Counsel For Tenants
Following an investigative report revealing widespread lead poisoning and significant rates of unlicensed rentals in Philadelphia, City Council has authorized hearings to examine the impact of eviction and substandard housing on the health and well-being of low-income renters and to examine solutions that would improve the safety and stability of rental housing, including the right to counsel.