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Highlights from 2016

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Advocacy | 0 comments

Highlights from 2016

2016 resulted in a banner year in the (nearly) thirty-year history of the Council. A few highlights of our work made possible because of your support: A record number of clients served: 1,823 A record number of cases handled: 2,860 Significant expansion of the Council’s medical-legal partnerships (MLP): We opened three new MLPs across the region, including a major expansion of the Council’s children’s program at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Over 1,300 children with disabilities in Illinois are receiving home care when they would have otherwise been forced into an institutionalized hospital setting. More than $18,000,000,000 (yes, billion!) in funding was made to life-saving safety net healthcare providers in Illinois. Our HIV program staff successfully negotiated with the Illinois Department of Public Health to prevent the termination of life-saving insurance premium assistance to HIV-positive individuals. We greatly expanded services to people at risk for HIV seeking access to PrEP, a medication regimen that is highly effective in reducing infection rates. Nationally, 70% of disability benefit claims are denied, while our homeless program has a 90% client success rate. You helped make these accomplishments happen, but there is so much more to do in 2017. This work will continue at full force and we anticipate over 2,000 clients will receive direct legal help in 2017. With the coming cuts to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, demand will only increase. We are going to fight cuts in funding for healthcare access for our communities and federal actions that threaten the civil rights of those we serve.  And, we are expanding—we will be serving patients at all five of Howard Brown Health’s clinics and we are looking to expand our provision of legal services for children to new medical sites. Our pledge is to continue to use the power of the law to secure health, dignity, and stability for children, adults and families challenged by illness and disability. Thanks for standing with...

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Ham-B-I-N-G-O

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ham-B-I-N-G-O

Join our Board of Ambassadors on Sunday, February 19, at 8pm for HamBingo! HamBingo is a charity event held @ Hamburger Mary’s (5400 N. Clark Street in Chicago), with February 19 benefiting Legal Council for Health Justice. Just show up that evening for the fun! Hosted by the Bingo-Diva Velicity Metropolis, this is NOT your typical “church basement bingo.” The show can get a little risqué, so enjoy the drink specials and leave the kids at home! It’s all about having fun while supporting the Legal Council. Guests are asked to make a $15 donation to play all night (10 games, three chances to win each game). All proceeds will go directly to the Legal Council and our legal programs helping low-income people in need. There will also be special shots and drink specials that benefit the Legal Council as well, so “eat, drink, and...

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On the first day of the new congress

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Advocacy | 0 comments

On the first day of the new congress

On the first day of the new Congress, Republicans introduced a budget resolution making good on their threat to repeal the ACA with no plan for the millions of people who will lose their access to healthcare. Equally devastating, Republican leadership has proposed deep cuts to federal support for Medicaid via block grants or “per capita caps” which would shift billions in costs for health care to Illinois.

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Makes you want to scream

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in Advocacy | 0 comments

Makes you want to scream

Republicans in Congress introduced a budget resolution that includes instructions to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is the first step in the process to repeal and delay, taking health care coverage away from 30 million, and consumer protections from millions more. Here’s what you can do.

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Training to Sustain

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Child health | 0 comments

Training to Sustain

At Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (CMLPC) meetings, legal advocates ask questions about cases, share perspectives, and tell success stories. Last week, Sarah Hess, a staff attorney in the UIC Coordination of Healthcare for Complex Kids (CHECK) program, shared a particularly meaningful success.

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Client Focus: Janae and William

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Client Stories, Medicaid, Public Aid | 0 comments

Client Focus: Janae and William

When Janae gave birth to William, things didn’t go exactly as planned. William was born premature and needed a hernia surgery, but for some reason, Janae could not get him a medical card to pay for the hospital bills. She was also having trouble getting other public benefits to supplement her income. Through the help of her community health worker, Janae and William were referred to the Legal Council. After many phone calls, meetings, and much research, our legal staff discovered that because Janae was adopted, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was causing a roadblock with Medicaid and other public benefits. We helped Janae fill out paperwork, and through our combined efforts, Janae  was able to get a medical card, food stamps, and additional income through Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). While Janae works hard at her job, she gets a low wage and the hours are difficult. Because of her newfound benefits, she has more flexibility to find a better job that works for her and her family. More importantly, William can have his necessary surgery and checkups to make sure he is a happy and healthy baby...

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We Will Fight

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Home Page Sliders | 0 comments

We Will Fight

Dear friend, Our supporters make all the difference in the lives of the Council’s clients. We value our clients, and we value you. This letter is more than an appeal, it’s a call to action! For all our progress over the years—and there is no way to sugar coat this—we are suddenly entering into a dark, uncertain time that will have a negative impact on our clients, as well as millions of Illinoisans.    So right now I’m asking for your support—donate, volunteer, speak up—in order to protect the most vulnerable among us. Your support allows the Council to help those who are often least able to help themselves. Because of you, a record number of individuals this past year received free, expert legal help from the Council. Our work has led to major successes, including significantly expanding access to life-saving healthcare and guaranteeing legal protections from discrimination. But we know that the next president and many in Congress wish to repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash funding for social services for the poor, and chip away at civil rights for scores of Americans. These cuts will have devastating consequences for the Legal Council’s clients, so will you stand with us as we fight on behalf of those in need? With the looming cuts and challenges, our services will be in demand more than ever before. To help us continue making a difference in the lives of those who are least able to help themselves, please make a year-end gift of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more. Some additional highlights that are possible because of your support: Our HIV program staff successfully negotiated with the Illinois Department of Public Health to prevent the termination of life-saving insurance premium assistance to HIV-positive individuals. We greatly expanded services to people at risk for HIV seeking access to PrEP, a medication regimen that is highly effective in reducing infection rates. Nationally, 70% of disability benefit claims are denied, while our homeless program has a 90% client success rate. I am so grateful for your support. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to help the nearly 2,000 clients whom the Council will assist this year. No matter what, the Council will continue to stand firm, fight, and never give up. Thank you in advance for your gift. Onward and upward, Tom Yates, Executive Director P.S. If you prefer, call 312-427-8990 to make your gift. Please also volunteer and speak up against bigotry and hate—we are all in this fight...

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Client Focus: Jane

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Client Stories | 0 comments

Client Focus: Jane

Being a 12 year old girl isn’t always easy. For Jane, being 12 is more complicated than most. When she suffered from a mental health crisis in the middle of the school year, Jane was struggling not only with her health but with bullying at her school. Any child would find it hard to cope with this combination, and Jane was no exception. For months, she was not well enough to go to school. Even once she mentally recovered, she refused to go to school for fear of being bullied. When her mother tried to get the school to help transfer Jane to a more appropriate setting, the school insisted Jane wasn’t currently enrolled because she had missed too many days. Unenrollment due to absences is in direct violation of school policy, but Jane’s mother couldn’t get any help from the school in settling this matter. Luckily, Jane and her mother found the Legal Council. Through determined advocacy, our staff convinced the school to recognize Jane as a student. After overcoming that obstacle, the school was willing to assess Jane and give her an individualized education program (IEP). Our staff was present at the IEP meeting to make sure Jane and her mother were heard, and the school developed a comprehensive and appropriate IEP for Jane. Once her needs were understood, Jane transferred and currently attends a new school that better suits her. With the resources and support she needs, Jane is now happy and able to go to school every...

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We won’t go back to 1964!

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Access to health | 0 comments

We won’t go back to 1964!

In the days after the 2016 election, we have thought long and hard about likely targets with a new administration and Congress. We see a new war on the poor with the first target being access to essential healthcare.

Medicaid is the principal program that provides access to medical care to the poor in Illinois. Since 1965 as part of the War on Poverty, Medicaid has been a remarkable program, providing life-saving healthcare for low-income Americans. And, the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or ObamaCare) expanded Medicaid to single, childless adults living at or near poverty.

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Tilting toward justice

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Advocacy | 0 comments

Tilting toward justice

No matter what, the Legal Council will continue to stand firm, fight, and never give up. As an agency that serves people with legal problems impacting their well-being, we are resolved to continue our work toward justice and dignity. We have already heard from clients who are concerned that their medications will be taken away in the coming days. We will continue—as we have done for almost three decades—to advocate for the rights of our clients and work hand-in-hand with our partners across the state and nation.

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