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ONLINE TRAINING

 


Child Care

Child Care: Legal Issues Affecting Low-Income Parents and Providers

This presentation reviews the various types of child care assistance available to low-income families, including public assistance related child care, Transitional Child Care, and subsidies. In addition, participants will learn how to obtain and interpret child care plans from local social services districts, become familiar with the inequities in child care administration across districts, and review possible legal challenges to these disparities. The session also will cover the due process rights of applicants and recipients of child care services, the process for obtaining a higher rate for children with special needs, the treatment of overpayments, and new benefits available to providers under the recent Executive Order regarding unionization of home based providers.

Kinship Care: Rights, Authority, Assistance and Resources

This two hour course will cover kinship caregiver legal issues offering extensive practical information about legal issues facing grandparents and relatives raising children.

Child Support

The 17% Solution: Child Support Issues Faced By Low Income Parents: This session will focus on the myriad issues faced by low income custodial and non-custodial parents in the world of child support enforcement.

Consumer & Community Development

New Approaches to Stabilizing Homeowners and Communities in Western NY : this taped broadcast is geared towards housing counselors, legal services organizations, lenders, public officials, community-based organizations, and anyone who is concerned with the impact of the foreclosure crisis on homeowners and neighborhoods in the western part of the State. Discussion topics include information about housing counseling standards, specialized foreclosure trainings, State programs addressing the foreclosure issue, and successful approaches to reducing foreclosures, among other topics.

Celebrating 30 Years of the Community Reinvestment Act: On January 24, 2008, the Greater Rochester Community Reinvestment Coalition and Empire Justice Center presented a forum celebrating 30 years of the Community Reinvestment Act. This forum is presented online in four parts.

 

How the Bankruptcy Laws Can Help Your Client Survive Consumer Debt
This program provides a practical overview of federal and NYS bankruptcy laws. It shows non-bankruptcy practitioners how to effectively help their low-income clients survive consumer debt.

Representing Homeowners at Mandatory Settlement Conferences: Mandatory settlement conferences are now an integral component to the foreclosure process for subprime loans. The governor has signed a new law that expands the settlement conferences to all residential loans. Pro Bono lawyers have been approved to represent homeowners for the limited capacity of these settlement conferences. This training addresses important considerations for lawyers willing to represent homeowners in this capacity.
Criminal Law

Reentry: Criminal Law 101: What Every Poverty Lawyer Must Know About the Criminal Justice System: This session will give a crash course in law and practice in the criminal justice system, including the path of a criminal case, warrants, types of offenses, juvenile proceedings, criminal records and sealing, certificates of relief from disabilities, and what services are permitted under LSC restrictions. It will also introduce a new online tool that provides proven solutions to overcoming collateral consequences.

Disability Benefits

Childhood Disability: The 2009 Childhood Social Security Rulings (SSRs): This training provides a brief overview of the childrens SSI program, including concepts of medical and functional equivalence to the Listings. Then, the 2009 SSRs are analyzed in detail, along with their impact on each domain of functioning and advocacy tips for using the SSRs in proving disability in children's SSI cases.

Confronting Vocational Experts' ("VE") Testimony: If the Grids cannot be applied, you had better prepare for the testimony of a Vocational Expert (VE). Learn about when a VE will be called in a case, the role of the VE, dealing with hypothetical questions, and formulating a cross examination.

Effect of Holocaust Reparations on Medicaid, SSI and Other Benefits: The Victims of Nazi Persecution Act of 1994 creates a special right for survivors of the Holocaust. When they apply for federally funded benefits or services that are based on financial need, the payments they have received based on their status as a victim of Nazi persecution are not counted in determining their financial eligibility for these federally funded benefits.

Handling SSI Child Disability Cases: This training will cover the child's SSI regulations including the concept of functional equivalence, domains of functioning, using forms and more.

HIV AS A DISABLING CONDITION: Maximizing SSI / SSD: This training will provide case managers with basic information about Social Security's disability benefit program.

How to Prove the Hip Bone/Back Bone Connection: Medical Issues in Disability Cases: A panel of experienced attorneys discuss issues related to medical evidence, including preparation and use of forms, value of evidence from non-acceptable medical sources (SSR 06-3p), applicability of HALLEX provisions, problems with getting medical records and subpoenas, dealing with consultative examiner (CE) opinions, and electronic medical records.

Introduction to Disability Law: This two part training will cover the fundamentals of disability law practice.

Maximizing Health coverage for DAP Clients - Before and After Winning the Case: The training includes: recent changes to Medicaid, Family Health Plus and Child Health Plus; Medicaid managed care for SSI recipients; transitioning to Medicare.

Now Playing: DAP Advocate vs. the Vocational Expert - A Hearing Experience
This mock Social Security hearing gives viewers a sense of how to present vocational evidence at a hearing. "Actors" assume the roles of ALJ, the claimant, and the vocational expert (VE). Using the hypothetical case scenario of a young adult (18-25 years old) with musculoskeletal and mental impairments, an experienced advocate will demonstrate direct examination of the claimant and a cross-examination of the VE.

Representing Clients with Disabilities in the Welfare Context: How to Use the Law to Help Clients with Disabilities Access Public Benefits This session offers tips for recognizing and working with clients with disabilities, provides an overview of the legal framework for disability advocacy in the welfare context, and examines selected welfare issues and how they impact clients with disabilities, including reasonable accommodations, the application process, the work requirements and the rules relating to drug and alcohol use.

Res Judicata, Reopening and Revival: The 3 Rs for Keeping Social Security Cases Alive (so they can be paid): This training explores the ways in which the Social Security Administrations (SSAs) administrative finality and res judicata rules can be avoided. The session focuses on the significance of overcoming finality hurdles so that disability before the expiration of a claimants date last insured (DLI) can be established. Reopening strategies and the standards for good cause and new and material evidence, as well as rules for extensions of time for filing appeals are presented. The session also covers ways to guard against reopenings by SSA.

The Hip Bone is Connected to the Back Bone: Understanding Musculoskeletal Impairments and "Dem Bones"
A medical practitioner familiar with Social Security Administration's (SSA) listings discusses the musculoskeletal impairments listing. An experienced Social Security attorney will facilitate the presentation so that participants will better understand the type of medical evidence they will be reviewing and should be developing in cases of musculoskeletal impairments. A hypothetical case scenario of a young adult (18-25 years old) with musculoskeletal and mental impairments who has been denied SSI will be used to demonstrate strategies for arguing that a claim meets or equals the listing.

The Role of Vocational Issues in a Social Security Case
Two experienced Social Security attorneys discuss how vocational issues may affect the outcome of a Social Security disability case. Topics include significance of vocational evidence in the sequential evaluation process, new POMS and proposed regulations on past relevant work, questioning a vocational expert (VE), and overview of relevant case law.

Typical Mental Impairments in Young Adult SSI Claims

Originally presented in September 2014 by Catherine M. Callery, Empire Justice Center and Katrina H. Colistra, PsyD.

SSI Income and Resource Issues: Advocates who represent claimants in disability claims are frequently called upon to help them with eligibility questions following a favorable medical determination. This two-hour workshop will focus on “non-disability issues” involving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims that are not generally covered elsewhere, including income and resource rules, as well as living arrangements. Information learned in this session will enable advocates to better assist claimants in maximizing their benefits.

SSI Non-Disability Eligibility: This training covers the fundamentals of SSI eligibility, including: income and resources, living arrangements, deeming, transfer of assets and other penalties, non-citizen restrictions, residency and more.

The Sequential Evaluation: Developing Mental Impairment Cases at Steps 4 & 5: This course builds upon the sequential evaluation process at Step 3. It focuses on Step 4 (past relevant work) and the Step 5 application of the Grid Rules. Participants will learn how to get off the grids and the use of vocational expert testimony in disability cases.

Sequential Evaluation: Developing Mental Impairment Cases at Step 3: This training is designed to be an introductory course for those new to Social Security Disability Law. It begins with an overview of Social Security Disability and the sequential evaluation process with a focus on Step 3 (the "Listings") for mental impairment cases. Participants will learn how to develop strong evidence and how to make winning arguments at Step 3, particularly in mental impairment cases.

Thumbs Up or Down? Practical Reviews of the VE Mock Hearing
A panel of experienced Social Security attorneys discuss issues raised in the mock hearing, as well as other vocational issues, including the art of the hypothetical question, the validity of the numbers/testimony offered by the VE, and tips for cross-examining the VE.

Winning on Appeal: Using an HIV case as a model, this session will outline appeal procedures and practices at the Appeals Council and in U.S. District Courts. Presenters will focus on the practices and procedures specific to each of the four District Courts in New York.

Domestic Violence

What Every Civil Legal Services Provider Should Know About Stalking: Investigation, Prosecution and Working with Victims

Originally presented as a training for law enforcement officers, this program contains valuable information for civil legal services practitioners. Presentations by police, prosecutor, and mental health officials discuss the important and intertwined issues of enforcement of stalking laws and treating the complainant-victims with respect and avoiding re-victimizing those seeking recourse from the judicial system. A civil legal services attorney presents topics of interest including the crime of stalking, alternate Family Court venues for qualifying victims, and what civil legal providers can do for complainant-victims in the criminal venue.

Education

Special Ed Litigation: Achieving Systemic Change within School Districts: From Greece, NY to New York City, public interest attorneys have challenged school districts' systemic failures to provide appropriate educational support to students with disabilities. In this session, attorneys and advocates will learn about the most recent cases, as well as "cutting-edge strategies" for litigating systems-change lawsuits that aim to compel school districts to improve services for large numbers of students.

Ethics

Ethics Redux: The major topics addressed in this CLE include the following: confidentiality and candor to the tribunal, the historical perspective of the adoption of the Rules of Professional Conduct in April 2009, a discussion of the most significant changes for practicing attorneys, the top areas for ethical violations, and an overview of the attorney grievance procedure.

Family Law

Additional Topics in Matrimonial Law: The major topics addressed include equitable distribution, custody issues and trends, and domestic violence/mental health/suicide prevention.

Divorce 101: This CLE includes an overview of a divorce action, judgment rolls & more and child support basics.

Foreclosures

Fraud in Real Estate and Mortgage Transactions

This program was designed for attorneys and real estate professionals who want to detect and avoid fraud in real estate and mortgage transactions. The presenters include a variety of professionals from the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors, The Appraisal Institute of Western New York, and the Bar Association of Erie County. Additionally, the program will present the federal and state law enforcement response to fraud in these transactions by members of some of those organizations. Presentations include descriptions of recent scams involving mortgages and foreclosures.

New York's Foreclosure Process: From Standing to Settlement Conferences and Everything in Between

This presentation discusses and presents solutions to the procedural and substantive challenges in New York's Foreclosure Settlement Conference Process and updates practitioners on laws and regulations, legal issues, government programs, and resources to help homeowners facing foreclosure

Health

Effect of Holocaust Reparations on Medicaid, SSI and Other Benefits: The Victims of Nazi Persecution Act of 1994 creates a special right for survivors of the Holocaust. When they apply for federally funded benefits or services that are based on financial need, the payments they have received based on their status as a victim of Nazi persecution are not counted in determining their financial eligibility for these federally funded benefits.

Helping Your Patients Access Medicaid (Webinar): This training is designed for staff at community health centers across New York, but will be useful for staff at any community based organization that helps clients access health care services. We will review the contents of a tool kit prepared by Empire Justice in collaboration with Westside Health Services in Rochester, New York, with funding from the New York State Health Foundation. Participants will learn about the public health care programs available to clinic patients, and strategies that have proven successful for overcoming common barriers to eligibility - including spend down, spousal refusal and pooled trusts.

Medical-Legal Partnership Summit: Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs) are an important option for addressing the legal issues that affect the overall health of low-income and vulnerable patients. In an MLP, health care staff - doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. -- are trained to screen for health-related legal issues, refer the patient to an affiliated lawyer or legal services team as necessary, and work with the attorney to resolve problems that impact patient health. This presentation examines the role that MLPs can play in addressing the unmet legal needs that negatively affect health care patients.

Medicaid 101: This session will introduce advocates to the patchwork of programs that make up New York's Medicaid program. We will discuss financial eligibility for the most widely utilized programs, and look at some case examples that utilize a valuable budgeting device known as spend down. We will then go over some of the recent changes in New York's program - highlighting those changes that pose implementation problems, as well as other issues that pose barriers to accessing health coverage.

Medicaid 101: Health Care Programs for People with HIV: This presentation provides case managers and other client advocates with basic information about the public health care programs in New York State that are key for people living with HIV/AIDS, including Medicaid, ADAP, Child Health Plus and Family Health Plus.

Medicaid Home Care Advocacy Training: New York's Medicaid home care program is the most comprehensive in the country, enabling about 100,000 elderly or disabled persons a year to remain in their homes. As the government has cut back on all entitlements in the last decade, changes in policy make it more difficult to access home care. Aggressive advocacy is needed to obtain the amount of home care that clients need, but this requires intensive development of facts and medical evidence.

This training will explain to viewers the differences between the six different Medicaid home care programs, how to prepare medical documentation and win benefits for their clients, either through advocacy at the local Medicaid offices run by the Department of Social Services in each county (the "CASA" offices in New York City), by advocacy with certified home health care agencies (CHHAs), or by representing clients at a fair hearing.

Because of its length, this training has been broken into three parts. CLE credit will be awarded for each portion of the training completed. It is not required that all three parts of this training be viewed in order to receive CLE credit.

Medicare with Medicaid: Maximizing Health Coverage for Dual Eligibles: This workshop will cover the A, B, Cs and Ds of Medicare and several strategies for helping elderly and/or disabled clients use both Medicare and Medicaid together, including Medicare Savings Programs, Medicaid Spend Down and the Medicaid Buy-in-Program for Working People with Disabilities.

What's Happening in Medicaid: Recent Changes to Eligibility and Services: This workshop will cover significant changes to New York's Medicaid Program in the last several years, including eligibility expansions, streamlining and simplification of enrollment and recertification requirements, and expansion of Mandatory Medicaid Managed Care.

Housing

Landlord & Tenant 101: If you are a recently admitted attorney, or an attorney whose work primarily consists of representation in non-housing matters, this training will give you the information you need to advise and represent clients who are facing the possibility of eviction.

New Approaches to Stabilizing Homeowners and Communities in Western NY : this taped broadcast is geared towards housing counselors, legal services organizations, lenders, public officials, community-based organizations, and anyone who is concerned with the impact of the foreclosure crisis on homeowners and neighborhoods in the western part of the State. Discussion topics include information about housing counseling standards, specialized foreclosure trainings, State programs addressing the foreclosure issue, and successful approaches to reducing foreclosures, among other topics.

Representing Homeowners at Mandatory Settlement Conferences: Mandatory settlement conferences are now an integral component to the foreclosure process for subprime loans. The governor has signed a new law that expands the settlement conferences to all residential loans. Pro Bono lawyers have been approved to represent homeowners for the limited capacity of these settlement conferences. This training addresses important considerations for lawyers willing to represent homeowners in this capacity.

Public Assistance Issues for Teens and Young Adults / Housing Advocacy to Prevent Children from Languishing in Foster Care

This presentation addresses some of the benefits and assistance available to teenagers, young adults and young families, approximately ages 16-22. Benefit areas covered will include cash assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid and housing resources for teens and young adults who are living on their own or aging out of foster care. The session will also cover housing resources for families struggling to reunify with children in foster care, including eligibility rules and advocacy strategies. The treatment of benefit areas will include coverage of special rules regarding eligibility for assistance, household composition, and circumstances when or if the young adult may be treated as a separate household. This presentation is intended for individuals who already have some familiarity and basic understanding of benefits eligibility and filing units.

Immigrant Rights

Immigration Status & Public Benefits Eligibility: This is a training on immigration status as an eligibility requirement in various federal and state public benefits programs. The main focus of the session will be on the immigrant eligibility rules in means tested benefit programs, specifically the Family and Safety Net Assistance Programs, the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), Food Stamps and Medicaid.

Language Access

Introduction to Language Access Rights: Language Access for Limited English Proficient (LEP) is a half day training for advocates and attorneys that work with LEP communities. Participants will be given an overview of the state and federal protections for LEP individuals.

Litigation

Implementing Federal Rights: The American Private Enforcement Model

This workshop will explore: (1) the theory and practice of private rights enforcement as a policy tool; (2) examine several different federal statutory enforcement mechanisms: (FLSA, Title VII, IDEA, ADA, FDCPA, §1988); (3) discuss the role and importance of legal services programs in context of policy enforcement; (4) highlight problems and issues arising in private policy enforcement litigation, e.g. Buckhannon, arbitration, Arbor Hill, Jeff D and waiver of fees, and others.

LGBT

Working With LGBT(Q) Clients: A disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) adults and youth live in poverty. As a key service provider in their safety net, civil legal services office should be both welcoming and have specific competency to appropriately serve and support these communities. The presenters will discuss the research documenting the intersection of poverty and economic injustice in these communities. They will further address the emerging needs of LGBTQ-identified youth, including youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Participants will also learn about ways that civil legal services office can create an inclusive, safe, and comfortable atmosphere both for clients, as well as LGBTQ staff.

Military

Serving Military-Related Clients: Practical Information and Ethical Considerations for Interacting with the Military World:This course is designed to help attorneys understand how to effectively work with military related clients and how to navigate through the military systems. Topics covered include an overview of the military culture and structure, Civilian Law and the Military involved case, specifically the Service members Civil Relief Act, Federal Firearms Statues and Orders of Protection, Divorce, Custody, and Family Support issues and special considerations in cases involving Domestic Violence.

Public Benefits

Collateral Consequences of Attorney Fee Awards, Cash Settlements or Damages

This session identifies the potential impact of damage awards, cash settlements and attorney fee awards on tax liability, means tested benefits, and vulnerability to creditors. It provides an example of an award in a Fair Labor Standards Act case involving a public assistance recipient who has participated in workfare, and covers the use of Supplemental Needs Trusts to protect cash settlements and awards.

Immigrant Eligibility for Public Benefits in New York State: New Developments & Review of the Basics

Presented by Barbara Weiner, Empire Justice Center; Susan Welber, The Legal Aid Society; Susan Evarts, The Legal Aid Society

Public Assistance Issues for Teens and Young Adults / Housing Advocacy to Prevent Children from Languishing in Foster Care

This presentation addresses some of the benefits and assistance available to teenagers, young adults and young families, approximately ages 16-22. Benefit areas covered will include cash assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid and housing resources for teens and young adults who are living on their own or aging out of foster care. The session will also cover housing resources for families struggling to reunify with children in foster care, including eligibility rules and advocacy strategies. The treatment of benefit areas will include coverage of special rules regarding eligibility for assistance, household composition, and circumstances when or if the young adult may be treated as a separate household. This presentation is intended for individuals who already have some familiarity and basic understanding of benefits eligibility and filing units.

Welfare Work Rules 101: Welfare applicants and recipients face a daunting array of work requirements, and risk serious penalties for the slightest infraction or alleged failure to comply. But they also have a range of legal rights of which they are too often unaware, so these rights are inadequately protected. It is therefore critical for applicants, recipients, providers and advocates to know the rules and how to assert these rights. This introductory training provides an overview of the statutes, regulations, and policies governing the implementation of the welfare work rules in New York State.

Public Benefits Advocacy: Practical Skills that Make a Big Difference: You know the law of public benefits but how do you actually convince caseworkers, ALJs or judges in court to decide in your client's favor? This video covers persuasion skills and techniques that will give you a better chance of success.

Immigration Status & Public Benefits Eligibility: This is a training on immigration status as an eligibility requirement in various federal and state public benefits programs. The main focus of the session will be on the immigrant eligibility rules in means tested benefit programs, specifically the Family and Safety Net Assistance Programs, the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), Food Stamps and Medicaid. In addition to the program rules, we will cover the immigrant documentation requirements of the benefits agencies and some special issues that arise in the context of immigrant use of benefits programs, including public charge, sponsor liability and reporting.

(updated 12/09) Public Benefits 101: This training, which is geared for those new to welfare work, will provide an overview of the different cash public assistance programs (Family Assistance, Safety Net Assistance, special grants and Emergency Assistance) and the basic eligibility rules of each program.

(updated 12/09) Food Stamps 101: This course will cover the rights of individuals to apply for food stamp benefits; the financial and non-financial eligibility requirements of the program, including a brief summary of immigrant rules; a basic look at the food stamp budgeting methodology, including how to read a food stamp budget, and the food stamp recertification process.

(updated 12/09) Emergency Assistance 101: This course provides an overview of the emergency assistance programs in New York State: Emergency Assistance to Families, Emergency Safety Net Assistance, and Emergency Assistance to Adults. The training reviews the situations that constitute an emergency, and the financial and categorical eligibility requirements for receipt of emergency assistance, and pays special attention to shelter and utility emergencies.

Unemployment

Unemployment Insurance Benefits 101: Across New York advocates report a rise in the number of people seeking representation at UIB hearings. This introductory program will cover the basics: benefit eligibility requirements; sources of law; issues that could affect benefits including misconduct, misrepresentation and voluntary termination; preparing your case and your client, and conducting the hearing.

Unemployment Insurance Hearings: This presentation will cover preparing clients for a hearing before the ALJ; the hearing: format, evidence and procedure; and appealing to the Unemployment Insurance Board

Wills

Basic Wills, Health Care Proxies & Powers of Attorney in New York State and Standby Guardianship Proceedings in Surrogate's Court: Covers Basic Wills, Health Care Proxies & Powers of Attorney in New York State: intestacy in New York State; executor/guardian for children considerations; will format; will execution process; purpose, statutory basis, format, execution and modification/revocation of the health care proxy and power of attorney forms; choosing agents and attorneys-in-fact and Standby Guardianship Proceedings in Surrogate's Court.