News from the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network

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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

Wolf Administration Announces Medicaid Policy Change for Individuals Suffering from Hepatitis C Virus

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 08:19

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced changes to the state’s Medicaid (MA) policy to expand coverage of life-saving drugs to treat Hepatitis C (HCV) virus. Beginning on July 1, the Department will begin phasing in coverage for individuals who have liver function test scores of “F1” or “F0”.

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IRS Accepting Applications for 2018 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grants

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 10:59

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the application period for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grants for calendar year 2018 will run from May 1 to June 20, 2017.

The LITC program is a federal grant program administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, led by the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina E. Olson. The LITC program awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand or maintain an LITC.  An LITC must provide services for free or for no more than a nominal fee.

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Health Law PA News - April 2017

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 11:04

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has published the April 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

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Funding for Civil Legal Aid: Where Do We Go From Here? - Article

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 09:23

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. Executive Director Samuel W. Milkes has authored an article entitled Funding for Civil Legal Aid: Where Do We Go From Here?, that appears in the current edition of The Pennsylvania Lawyer (May-June 2017), the magazine of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

The article explores the current state of funding for civil legal assistance in Pennsylvania, the current challenges faced by the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, law school clinics, pro bono providers and all the other providers of civil legal aid in the state, and encourages lawyers to urge decision-makers to support legal aid.

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DEA Continues Its Drug Abuse Prevention Efforts with Prescription Drug Take Back Day - April 29

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 09:55

Addictive prescription drugs that are thrown away or left untended on shelves and in drawers at home are often stolen and either abused or sold by family members and visitors.  That’s why the Drug Eenforcement Administration (DEA) of the Department of Justice and thousands of its state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners are holding another Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 29, from 10 am to 2 pm local time, at over 5,000 sites around the country.

The service is free of charge, no questions asked. 

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2017 PLAN Public Benefits Conference - CANCELLED

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 07:13

Due to low enrollment numbers the Conference, scheduled for May 4-5, 2017 has been cancelled. 

In the coming weeks, a series of webinars will be scheduled to cover the most pressing topics that would have been a part of the conference.  Some of these webinars will be offered with CLE credit. 

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Legal Services Corporation Announces Pilot States for Innovative Program to Increase Access to Justice

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 13:15

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Microsoft Corporation, and Pro Bono Net have named Alaska and Hawaii as state partners in a pilot program to develop online, statewide legal portals to direct individuals with civil legal needs to the most appropriate forms of assistance.

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Social Security Launches First “National Social Security Month” in April

Tue, 04/11/2017 - 07:37

Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, invites everyone to celebrate the first National Social Security Month in April by taking five steps toward financial security at During the month, Social Security will provide educational articles and video messages on its website featuring personal finance expert Suze Orman. Each message will provide the public with practical tips for developing a sound financial plan that includes Social Security as a foundation.

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CFPB Features Your Money, Your Goals Spotlight Webinars

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:19

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be offering Your Money, Your Goals  Spotlight webinars this spring for front line staff and volunteers who work with consumers. The webinars will focus on Identity Theft, Financial Issues Facing Older Adults, and Prepaid Cards.

Your Money, Your Goals is a toolkit designed to help frontline staff and volunteers have the money conversation with the people they serve. You can attend sessions on all three topics, or pick the topics most relevant to you.

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PA Supreme Court Approves Language Access Plan for Courts

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 09:01

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has adopted a comprehensive plan to improve access to justice for those with limited English proficiency and those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Language Access Plan is designed to guide the judiciary in meeting language challenges brought by the growing diversity of Pennsylvania’s population. It also further solidifies the courts’ commitment to fair and equal access to justice by providing quality language access services to non-English-speaking and deaf court users.

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Health Law PA News - March 2017

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 15:01

The March 2017 issue of Health Law PA News has been published by the Pennsylvania Health Law Project. 

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

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Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. Presents 2017 Excellence Award Winners

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 23:15

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) honored the recipients of the 2016 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards on March 28, 2017 at the annual awards dinner held at the Hilton Harrisburg.

The Keynote Speaker at the event was The Honorable Josh Shapiro, Attorney General of Pennsylvania.

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Webinar: Legal Basics - Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 13:06

Justice in Aging will be holding a webinar entitled Legal Basics: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on April 11, 2017 from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern. This webinar is designed for legal services and other advocates who are just getting started in the field and others who want to learn more about the essentials of the program. 

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Tue, 03/14/2017 - 07:44

The Harrisburg Office of Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. is closed today, Tuesday, March 14, 2017 due to the extreme weather conditions in the Harrisburg area. 

State office buildings in the Capital Complex, Harrisburg area, Philadelphia office buildings, and the Reading and Scranton State Office Buildings are all closed as well. 

The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network program offices are reporting the following closing information:

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SPECIAL ALERT: Fast Moving US House Bill to Radically Restructure Medicaid Would Be Bad for Pennsylvania

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 11:26

Last night House Republican leaders released a bill that details their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, scrapping the mandate that nearly all Americans have health insurance and replacing it with a system of tax credits aimed at enticing Americans to purchase health care on the open market. 

The bill would end Medicaid as we know it by imposing a “per-capita” cap, giving states substantially less federal funding than they would get under Medicaid today, with the cuts growing larger each year.

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Health Law PA News - February 2017

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 14:34

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has released the February 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

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Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee Issues Evaluation Report on the Use of the Access To Justice Act Funds

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 14:51

HARRISBURG, PA – Today, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, a bicameral, bipartisan Committee of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, released a report on the use of the Access to Justice Act filing fee funds that support the provision of civil legal aid low-income Pennsylvanians and survivors of domestic violence. The report found that the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board, where the funds are distributed, and the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN), where the services are delivered, do an excellent job fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to properly administer the funds and that the actual provision of services with these funds is of high quality.

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Chief Justice Saylor Thanks Bar for Support of Legal Aid and Encourages Additional Commitment Through Pro Bono

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 11:15

Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Thomas G. Saylor has directed a letter to all members of the bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania thanking them for their financial support of legal aid, and joined with Pennsylvania Bar Association President Sara Austin in requesting that attorneys consider making an additional personal commitment through the provision of pro bono representation of the poor and through financial support of Pennsylvania's legal aid programs.

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Webinar: HUD’s Final Rule Implementing VAWA 2013

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 14:22

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) is hosting a free webinar on March 1, 2017 from 2:00 pm-3:30 pm Eastern on HUD's Final Rule Implementing VAWA 2013.

The webinar will provide specifics on provisions outlined in HUD’s final rule, effective December 16, 2016, that implements critical protections for survivors of domestic and sexual violence accessing federally subsidizing housing.

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New Report Show Impact of Repeal of Affordable Care Act in Pennsylvania

Thu, 02/09/2017 - 13:52

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.

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