05/16/2018: News for Community Partners from Legal Aid

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The below news was emailed today to Legal Aid’s community partners.  Want to join the email list?  Contact Anne Sweeney, Esq. – Legal Aid’s Managing Attorney for Community Engagement: anne.sweeney@lasclev.org.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT regarding Cuyahoga County HCVP (aka Section 8) Waiting List:

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) will be accepting pre-applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) tenant-based wait list beginning at 12:01 a.m. (EDT), Monday, June 4, 2018 through 11:59 p.m. (EDT), Friday, June 8, 2018. The lottery for the waitlist only opens every three to five years.

Pre-applications will be available online only at: www.applycuyahogacounty.tenmast.com.

All persons who are 18 years of age or older can submit a pre-application at for a chance to obtain a place on the waiting list.

Computers will be available for applying at local libraries and social service agencies.  Online applications can also be made on mobile devices.  Seniors and persons with disabilities can contact 1-800-741-9922 from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m., June 4 through June 8, 2018 for assistance.

Legal Aid Updates:

Tenants can now call Legal Aid’s Tenant Information Line at 216.861.5955 with questions about their rights and responsibilities.  Tenants can call between the hours 9am-5pm and leave a brief message with their housing question and someone will call them back within 24 business hours.

Tenants can text Legal Aid at 216.242.1544 for info about responding to an eviction, requesting return of a security deposit, problems with housing conditions and lead poisoning.

For help responding to an eviction complaint text FAQ EVICTION.

For information on how to request a return of a security deposit text FAQ DEPOSIT.

For information on how to rent deposit text FAQ REPAIRS.

For lead poisoning information text FAQ LEAD.

Common Sense Legal Tools now available online to prepare legal documents for free.  Access online tools at http://ohiolegalhelp.org/self-help-forms/ to complete personalized legal documents.  Using these online tools, a person can apply for a civil protection order, answer an eviction complaint, complete health care directives, apply to seal a criminal record, request the return of a security deposit, answer a credit card debt lawsuit, apply for a divorce without children, answer a foreclosure complaint, apply to waive court filing fees, or create a simple will.  Training for service providers on how to help clients use these online tools is available by contacting Anne Sweeny at 216.861.5242 or reply to this email.

Community education and legal assistance about advance planning for end of life decisions is available from Legal Aid.  Learn about health care directives, power of attorney documents, transfer on death affidavits and other legal instruments that support end of life planning and decision-making.  Contact Anne Sweeney at 216.861.5242 for more information or to schedule a presentation.  Low income older adults who need help with these matters should call Legal Aid at 1-888-817-3777 to apply for assistance.

National Updates:

The deadline for filing a claim in the Western Union Settlement has been extended to May 31, 2018.  The settlement will return $586 million to people to settle the FTC’s charges that Western Union did not adequately protect people from fraud and did not properly discipline problem agents.  For more information about how to file a claim visit this Federal Trade Commission website.

New online access to Social Security Administration info through online account.  You can create an online, my Social Security account to verify your earnings, see an estimate of future benefits if you’re still working, or manage your monthly benefits once you begin receiving payments. You can also check the status of your claim or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card, and get an instant benefit verification letter. For more information and to create an account, visit this Social Security Administration website.

Ohio Updates:

The Ohio legislature has passed a law which authorized the Attorney General to select a vendor to instruct background check companies to promptly remove sealed or expunged records from their database.  This service costs an extra $45 on top of the filing fee for applying to seal a criminal record.  The service is optional, and courts will review and make decisions on applications to seal a criminal record regardless of whether a person pays the additional fee.  When filing an application to seal a criminal record, the Clerk of Court should provide information about the service as well as an “opt out” form.

I need my driver’s license back – are there payment plans for those who owe fees?  The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles offers payment plans to people who owe fees in order to reinstate their driver’s license right away.   To be eligible for the payment plan, a person must owe at least $150, have met all the other reinstatement requirements, show current proof of insurance, not be under suspension or have pending suspensions, and not be on a court-ordered payment plan.  More information about the payment plan, and the application form, visit  this BMV website.  The completed application, $50, and proof of insurance should be submitted to any deputy registrar license agency or reinstatement center, or by mail to: Ohio BMV Attn: Revenue Management/Points P.O. Box 16521 Columbus, OH 43216.  Note there is an additional $10 service fee for paying at a Deputy Registrar license agency.

Local Updates:

The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is a program working to enhance the leadership abilities of engaged community leaders.  This program consists of a set of 16 sessions presenting topics that include community engagement, group facilitation, program planning, fundraising and conflict resolution.  Participants also receive a Program Coach to support growth and development during the program and after graduation.  Graduates of NLDP also have a variety of opportunities for continuing activities such as fireside chats with well-known Cleveland leaders and capacity building workshops.  For more information about the NLDP, please visit http://www.nldpcleveland.com/.  Applications are due August 3, 2018 for the next cohort.

The Cleveland Department of Aging’s 29th annual Senior Day will be on May 24, 2018 at Cleveland Public Hall.  This event is free and open to the public!  Join the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and numerous other organizations for a day of celebrating and sharing resources for older adults in our community.  For more information, click here.

Peace in the Hood offers Peace Camp for children age 5 to 16 years old from June 25 through July 26, 2018.  Cost is $25 per week.  For more information, click here.

Legal Aid will be in the neighborhood!  Click here for a printable flyer – or see all of Legal Aid’s upcoming FREE legal advice clinics by visiting our online calendar!

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