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MLRI Basic Public Benefits Advocacy Trainings

A series of trainings for legal, social and health services, and community advocates who assist low and moderate-income individuals and families.

MCLE and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) are collaborating to make annual basic public benefits advocacy training more accessible to the many public and private sector individuals and lawyers who assist Massachusetts residents in qualifying for and receiving public benefits. Detailed materials are distributed for each training.

2021–2022 BASIC PUBLIC BENEFITS ADVOCACY TRAININGS

Note: All Fall 2021 programs will be available online only.

 

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1. Assisting Families Experiencing Homelessness
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 No. 2220055WBC
or Wednesday, October 20, 2021 No. 2220055RBC
or Thursday, October 28, 2021 No. 2220055RB1
9:30 am–3:00 pm; 5.5 Credits

This program focuses on strategies to assist families experiencing homelessness in accessing and retaining shelter, short-term housing, and services from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Trainers provide an overview of the Emergency Assistance (EA) shelter and services program, including current restrictions on access to EA shelter. The training also includes advocacy tips regarding the range of issues facing families at-risk or experiencing homelessness as they seek access to EA shelter and the HomeBASE program. The training includes an overview of the system, the application process, denials, terminations, shelter placements, and program requirements. This training is for legal services advocates, lawyers in private practice, social and health services workers, and community activists who want to learn about the nuts-and-bolts of the EA system and the HomeBASE program.

Training materials include the Emergency Assistance Advocacy Guide: A Guide to Emergency Shelter and Rehousing Services for Homeless Families with Children in Massachusetts.

Faculty:
Andrea M. Park, Esq., Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Boston; Elizabeth Alfred, Esq., Central West Justice Center, Worcester; Kelly Turley, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Lynn

Click here to register for 2220055WBC

Click here to register for 2220055RBC

Click here to register for 2220055RB1

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2. CORI: Basics of the NEW Criminal Justice Reform Law
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 No. 2220057WBC
or Wednesday, November 10, 2021 No. 2220057RBC
or Thursday, November 28, 2021 No. 2220057RB1
9:30 am–2:30 pm; 4 Credits

This seminar provides an overview of criminal offender record information (CORI) laws as related to employment, driver licenses, housing, and other collateral consequences. Topics include: how to get CORI reports; sealing and expungement of adult and juvenile cases; chapter 151B anti-discrimination provisions; negligent hiring protections for employers and landlords, and other provisions.

Massachusetts keeps “CORI� on every individual who has a criminal case in a Massachusetts state court. CORI is recorded and kept on file even if the underlying case is ultimately dismissed or the accused is found not guilty. CORI is used in screening processes by employers, landlords, government agencies, and others. Clients with criminal records face barriers to employment, housing, benefits and other opportunities for economic stability. This training is for legal services advocates, lawyers in private practice, social and health services workers, and community activists who want to learn about the new law or get a refresher course on the basics of CORI.

Faculty:
Pauline Quirion, Greater Boston Legal Services; Mac McCreight, Greater Boston Legal Services; Ventura Dennis, Greater Boston Legal Services; Loren N. Forbes, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston; Sophia Hall, Lawyers for Civil Rights; Susan Malouin, Northeast Legal Services

Click here to register for 2220057WBC

Click here to register for 2220057RBC

Click here to register for 2220057RB1

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3. SSI & SSDI Basics
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 No. 2220056WBC
or Wednesday, November 17, 2021 No. 2220056RBC
or Monday, November 29, 2021 No. 2220056RB1
9:30 am–4:00 pm; 5.5 Credits

Social Security disability programs continue to be a major source of cash and health benefits for individuals with disabilities. However, dealing with a large federal agency can be daunting and overwhelming, especially for an unrepresented claimant. The program begins with an overview of the two disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), with emphasis on eligibility requirements and procedures, including online procedures and any remaining COVID-19 related procedures, basic disability eligibility standards and non-disability issues such as income, resources, and non-citizen criteria. An explanation of the recently revised evidence submission and analysis rules begins with the afternoon session followed by overview of the appeals process for disability applications. Concluding the program is a review of certain post-entitlement issues, with special emphasis on continuing disability reviews, work incentives rules, and benefits overpayments. The training is for legal services advocates, lawyers in private practice who are thinking of representing clients before SSA, social and health workers, and community activists.

Faculty:
Linda Landry. Disability Law Center; Svetlana Uminkova, Disability Law Center

Click here to register for 2220056WBC

Click here to register for 2220056RBC

Click here to register for 2220056RB1

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4. Overview of the TAFDC Program, Massachusetts’ Cash Assistance Program for Families
Thursday, December 9, 2021 No. 2220086WBC
or Tuesday, December 28, 2021 No. 2220086RBC
or Wednesday, January 5, 2022 No. 2220086RB1
9:30 am–4:00 pm; 5.5 Credits

This training is for legal services advocates, lawyers in private practice, social and health services workers, and community activists who want to learn about TAFDC (Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children)—the cash assistance program for families. The training provides an overview of program rules and eligibility, as well as information about recent policy and practice changes. The training will also cover applying for and keeping TAFDC benefits, and protections for specific populations including people with disabilities, people dealing with domestic violence, and people with limited English proficiency. In the afternoon, there will be sessions on child care and non-citizen eligibility/public charge.

Materials will include PowerPoints and other resources. If the rules are no longer in flux because of COVID-19, we will also provide an updated TAFDC Advocacy Guide: An Advocate’s Guide to the Massachusetts Welfare Rules for Families. The December 2019 edition is available free at https://www.masslegalservices.org/TAFDCAdvocacyGuide.

Faculty:
Deborah Harris, Esq., Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Boston; Lisa Bradley, Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston; Lizbeth A. Ginsburg, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston; Sarah R. Levy, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston; Naomi A. Meyer, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston

Click here to register for 2220086WBC

Click here to register for 2220086RBC

Click here to register for 2220086RB1

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