Posted May 26, 201712:41 pm
Legal Aid works closely with hundreds of community partners in Northeast Ohio. Periodically, Legal Aid circulates e-news to these partners, to keep friends updated on key issues and events in the community. Below is the information shared today with more than 1000 community partner contacts:
- Beware of a new phone scam: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently confirmed that the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. These scammers represent themselves as HHS OIG Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity. HHS OIG is investigating this matter and intends to have the perpetrators prosecuted. It is important to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). We encourage the public to remain vigilant, protect their personal information, and guard against providing personal information during calls that purport to be from the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number. We also remind the public that it is still safe to call into the HHS OIG Hotline to report fraud. We particularly encourage those who believe they may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam to report that information to us through the HHS OIG Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or email@example.com. Individuals may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). More information can also be found at the consumer alert website: https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/alerts/phone-scam.asp
- Social Security benefits denied to same sex couples on the basis that the Defense of Marriage Act or state law prohibited SSA from recognizing the relationship can be reopened. Social Security issued a ruling that they can now reopen Title II and Title XVI determinations and decisions when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or state laws (including the laws of U.S. territories) prohibited Social Security from recognizing a marital relationship when Social Security would have recognized the marital relationship but for the relationship being between two people of the same sex. This includes claims denied before the Obergefell decision. The full decision can be viewed at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/03/01/2017-03932/social-security-ruling-17-1p-titles-ii-and-xvi-reopening-based-on-error-on-the-face-of-the. For information on eligibility or filing for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213.
- Lead poisoning lawsuit. The City of Cleveland can be a leader to prevent lead poisoning of children. Cleveland Legal Aid recently filed a lawsuit against the City, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, and Cleveland Director of Public Health Merle Gordon on behalf of a toddler who has been poisoned by lead. Legal Aid believes the City is capable of protecting Cleveland’s children and can be a leader to prevent lead poisoning of children. Legal Aid believes the City can and must ensure that families are aware of which homes are toxic. The suit seeks to require City Officials to enforce existing laws to protect children and families. The complaint filed in Ohio’s Eight District court of Appeals can be read here. Legal Aid highlights in the complaint the failure of the City to protect this toddler as it is required by law. For more information, see https://lasclev.org/05182017/. See below for information on help available.
- Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority waiting list for public housing and multifamily housing open effective May 1, 2017. Interested applicants should complete an online application at lmha.org. Additional information is available in the flyer available here. Applicants with disabilities in need of accommodation may call Admission as 1-440-288-7484.
- The Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP) expanded its eligibility to include families in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP or Section 8). JRAP helps people to stay in Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority housing by sealing past criminal or juvenile records for themselves or household members. For more information about the program see https://lasclev.org/legal-housing-and-criminal-record-help-for-young-adults-and-their-families/. For information about a special JRAP Brief Advice Clinic, see below.
- Need to know whether a criminal record can be sealed or expunged? Attend an informational event at the Euclid Public Library on May 31 at 6pm to find out what convictions are eligible for expungement under Ohio law. See more information on the flyer available here.
- Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry 5th Annual Community Public Meeting. The public meeting sponsored by the Office of Reentry will be held Friday, June 2 at the Cleveland Foodbank (15500 S. Waterloo Rd, Cleveland, 44110) from 8:30 am – 11:30 am. The Keynote speaker is Mr. Mike Davis, Chief of The Office of Reentry and Enterprise Development for Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Details can be found on the flyer available here along with a link to RSVP for the meeting.
- Equitas Health Name & Gender Change Legal Clinic on June 10th. Equitas Health is offering another legal clinic to help the LGBT community complete the paperwork necessary to legally change name and gender markers on vital documents and identifications. The clinic will be held on June 10th, from 11am-2pm, at the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland (6600 Detroit Ave.). To schedule an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-340-6744. Details can be found on the flyer available here.
- Lead poisoning cases and referrals. Families with children who have been found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood should call Legal Aid’s intake line at 1-888-817-3777. Low-income households in need of financial assistance with home repairs to remediate lead can apply to Community Housing Solutions for funding. The household must include a child age 5 or under or a pregnant woman. To start the application, call 216-651-0077. In addition, tenants where there is lead poisoning in the home can apply for PRC through Cuyahoga County Jobs and Family Services. The household must include one minor child, or a pregnant person, or a non-custodial parent of a child. To apply, call 216-416-4440. Additional information is available at https://lasclev.org/what-do-i-need-to-know-about-lead-poisoning/.
- Community Revitalization Project: Legal Aid has begun a new initiative: The Greater Cleveland Community Revitalization Project. Through this Project, Legal Aid will work with community members and other organizations to transform neighborhoods. Legal Aid will build partnerships, provide legal assistance, engage in community education and outreach, and advocate on systemic issues identified by local leaders. The Project seeks to ensure that people with low-income live in strong, supportive neighborhoods; have safe, stable housing; have access to credit; and are able to qualify for available employment. In the first year, this Project will focus on four Cleveland neighborhoods: Kinsman, Central, Hough, and Broadway/Slavic Village. Anyone interested in learning more about this work should contact Anne Sweeney at email@example.com.
- Do you know anyone who has had problems at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles because they don’t speak English? Legal Aid is interested in speaking with individuals with limited English proficiency who have had difficulty accessing services at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) due to the language barrier. If you know such an individual, please contact Joseph Lopez (216-861-5310) or Katie Feldman (216-861-5142) at Legal Aid.
- Immigration assistance at Legal Aid. Legal Aid may be able to assist on immigration-related matters for low income U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylees, and non-citizen victims of crime, including domestic violence and human trafficking. Please contact us to apply at 888-817-3777 or find intake numbers for other languages at https://lasclev.org/contact/. Others who need immigration assistance can use the links below for the Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) website. ABLE has created a guide that includes basic information about legal rights and a planning tool for families. (English: http://immigration.ablelaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/KYR-ImmigrationEnforcement-040417web.pdf and Spanish: http://immigration.ablelaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/KYR-ImmigrationEnforcement-051217-SPweb.pdf
- See the most recent issue of The Alert newsletter! This issue is focused on topics especially relevant to older adults but helpful to anyone. Click here to view a PDF version of the issue.
- JRAP Brief Advice Clinic. Free brief advice and legal clinic for all CMHA residents and recipients of Section 8 vouchers through CMHA to be held on Tuesday, June 20 from 2-4 pm at CMHA’s Woodhill Community Center, 2491 Baldwin Road, Cleveland, OH 44104. Legal Aid staff will be available to provide brief advice on civil legal matters related to record sealing, housing, employment, education, family, and health. Attendees should bring all important papers with them.
- 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!
Questions? Contact Anne Sweeney, Managing Attorney for Community Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.