Posted November 16, 20222:00 pm
We provided this update on local events, community updates, and other newsworthy items to our partners and public officials.
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Hello from Legal Aid! Legal Aid is available in person, by phone and online to meet our clients' needs. Applicants can now schedule a call back time when they apply online at lasclev.org. Please see more highlights below and reach out with any questions or requests. We look forward to hearing from you!
Legal Aid has been working to inform student loan borrowers about the Federal Student Loan Cancellation program. As of November 10, 2022, two federal courts have blocked the Department of Education from discharging debts under its Student Loan Cancellation program. For the time being, the Department of Education is no longer accepting cancellation applications. The Department of Education is seeking to overturn the Court decisions. We will continue to monitor and provide updates on our website: lasclev.org/StudentLoanFAQ.
Interested in learning about Cooperatives? The 3rd Biennial Cooperative Law Conference: Cooperative for the Modern Era will be held January 24-25, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. This regional event will bring together national and regional experts to discuss the tools needed to advance the growth of a resilient, just, and local economy, from organizing through developing a successful cooperative. Learn more and register.
“Lunch with Legal Aid” archives
Thanks for joining us for our monthly “Lunch with Legal Aid” Facebook Live series during 2022! Our monthly livestream program featured Legal Aid experts and community partners from across our service area sharing "know your rights” information on issues such as kinship care, worker rights, housing, and more. We’ve concluded the series for 2022, but you can view past sessions here.
Free neighborhood legal clinics
Legal Aid has a full schedule of free legal advice clinics scheduled for the final months of 2022. Click here for a printable bilingual flyer. In addition, you can always view the full events calendar on our website.
Please share the following community resources and updates with your network:
Cuyahoga County Rent Assistance – Apply Now!
Cuyahoga County must spend millions of dollars in ARPA money before the end of the year. Tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for assistance online through CHN Housing Partners. Tenants may qualify for up to 3 months of future rent payments in addition to receiving money for past rent. CHN will also link applicants with other assistance programs that may help make utility bills more affordable.
Wage Theft Clinic – Saturday, November 19
According to Policy Matters Ohio, wage theft occurs when “employers refuse to pay promised wages, pay less than the minimum wage, fail to pay for all hours worked, or don’t pay overtime compensation as required by law.” The Northeast Ohio Worker Center will host a free and confidential clinic for workers seeking information about wage theft and their rights. The event will be held Saturday, November 19 from 12:00-3:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Community Church in Cleveland. Visit the Northeast Ohio Work Center’s website for event details.
Important information for Ohio Medicaid Members
The COVID-19 public health emergency will remain in effect until at least mid-January 2023. Once the federal government declares an end to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Medicaid will resume its normal eligibility review process. This means that all eligible Medicaid members will have to renew their Medicaid coverage or risk losing it.
Some renewals will require members to respond to mail from their County Department of Job and Family Services (CDJFS) regarding their Medicaid eligibility. To prepare for this process, Medicaid members are encouraged to:
- Update their contact information with their CDJFS. Make address changes by logging on to Benefits.Ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-324-8680.
- If you get a letter in the mail, follow the instructions and respond. Any member who gets a letter stating that it is time to renew, or that their CDJFS needs more information, should respond right away. Members who do not respond to renewal letters or requests for information risk losing their coverage, even if they are eligible.
Volunteer to help families during tax season
The Cuyahoga Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition offers free, accessible tax preparation services for low-income taxpayers across Cuyahoga County. The Coalition needs tax preparers and intake specialists for the coming tax season. Training sessions begin in December. To learn more and sign up to volunteer, visit the Cuyahoga EITC Coalition’s website.
Winter utility assistance
As winter approaches, utility bills will rise. Payment assistance programs are available for low-income individuals. The Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program (HEAP Winter Crisis Program) runs from November 1 – March 31 and helps income eligible Ohioans maintain utility services. More information about these programs is available online.
Thank you for your partnership in striving for justice throughout Northeast Ohio. As always, please reach out with any questions or ideas!
Anne K. Sweeney
Managing Attorney for Community Engagement
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Direct: 216.861.5242 / Main: 216.861.5500
Rights. Dignity. Justice.