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Legal Services Journal - Fall 2011


Articles in this Issue

Hospital Care in New York
Enforceability of the Right to Meaningful Language Access
November 10, 2011
Hospitals in New York State are required to provide language assistance to consumers with limited English proficiency (LEP). LEP individuals are unable to communicate effectively in English because their primary language is not English and they have not developed fluency in the English language. This article provides an overview and analysis of the applicable federal and state law and complaint processes challenging violations of the right to meaningful language access available to LEP persons receiving services in New York hospitals. Read More

What's New in SNAP
November 10, 2011
It has been a busy year in SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as the Food Stamp Program) Read More

Artificially Conceived Child Not a Child for SSA
September 30, 2011
In March 2011, we reported on a January 2011 decision from the Third Circuit holding that twins born by artificial insemination after the death of their biological father were entitled to Social Security survivors’ benefits on his account. Read More

Columbia County Application Delay Lawsuit Settles
November 10, 2011
Earlier this year, the Empire Justice Center and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of those who had applied or attempted to apply for public assistance, food stamps and Medicaid in Columbia County against the Columbia County Department of Social Services. Read More

Utilizing the U Visa to Combat Immigrant Services Fraud
November 10, 2011
Immigration services fraud, due to its devastation of countless vulnerable immigrant communities, has recently drawn increased attention from policy makers at the local and national levels. The New York State Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau rates this fraud as “an issue of national importance, affecting large segments of communities,” and has taken multiple actions against fraudulent services providers. Read More

Alabama's New Immigration Law Hurts Immigrants and the State
November 10, 2011
On September 28, 2011, a Federal District Court Judge upheld most of the sections of Alabama’s harsh new immigration law, also known as HB 56 , which the U.S. Justice Department and civil rights groups had vigorously challenged. Read More

New York's Foreclosure Prevention Services Program Threatened
November 10, 2011
New York continues to be in the midst of the foreclosure crisis. Last year, more than 250,000 pre-foreclosure notices were mailed to homeowners while more than 77,000 foreclosures were pending statewide. New York’s urban and rural areas are all affected by foreclosures. Read More

Regulations Allow SSA to Ban Individuals
September 30, 2011
SSA published regulations effective September 2, 2011, which allows it to ban certain individuals from entering its offices. Citing the rising number of threats of violence against SSA personnel, SSA promulgated a final rule permitting the banning of any individual who (1) uses force or threats of force against SSA personnel or offices, including sending threatening letters or other communications; (2) engages in disruptive conduct that impedes SSA personnel from performing their duties; or (3) engages in disruptive behavior that prevents members of the public from obtaining services. Read More

Hiding in Plain Sight: New York's Address Confidentiality Program
November 10, 2011
Over the last decade, New York lawmakers have demonstrated their ongoing appreciation for the connection between domestic violence and a victim’s increased need, not only for physical protection, but also for privacy safeguards. Read More

From Wage Theft to Wage Justice
November 10, 2011
Thousands of temporary workers employed at Labor Ready’s nine branches in Western New York were owed tens of thousands of dollars in wages. Labor Ready made illegal wage deductions from workers who accepted their daily wages in cash. It issued vouchers to be used in a company-owned cash machine, which deducted a $1 processing fee. The fees generated $8.3 million in revenue nationally in 2000 alone. Most of these low-wage workers did not have bank accounts and were barely able to survive on daily cash wages. Read More

More Medicaid Changes: Finally Some Good News
November 10, 2011
The last issue of the Legal Services Journal shared not such good news about changes to Medicaid – (reductions in services, expansions in mandatory Medicaid managed care). In this issue we have two positive developments worth highlighting. Read More