An Update on COVID-19, From Our Executive Director

Dear friend,

I’m writing you to provide a quick update on Legal Council for Health Justice’s response to the spread of COVID-19.

As you know, Legal Council strives to strengthen existing health and benefits programs for Illinoisans so they can get the care they need to live stronger, healthier lives. And part of our fight for health justice is responding to emerging and time-sensitive threats to the health and well-being of all Illinoisans.

The fact is, our clients living with chronic illnesses and disabilities are incredibly susceptible to COVID-19. And for those of our clients who are able to work, often they work in low-wage jobs that can’t be done remotely, and don’t offer paid sick days.

When the CDC tells the American people to regularly wash their hands, self-quarantine at home, and avoid crowded places, I can’t help but think of our client Tami and her son, who were served by advocates in our homeless program. Tami and her son, like many people who are homeless, don’t have regular access to hand-washing stations, and sleep in over-crowded, cramped shelters.

Tami now has comprehensive, quality health coverage thanks to Legal Council’s advocacy, but there are many Illinoisans who don’t have coverage. Without insurance, these individuals and their families are more likely to avoid going to the doctor or ER in fear of outrageous medical bills.

At this time, our advocates are working hard alongside our partners to protect those who are most vulnerable during this pandemic. We are asking that you join us in this fight.

Your support of Legal Council means:

  • Low-income clients can access life-saving, affordable health coverage, meaning they can receive the care they need when they are sick.
  • The health and well-being of vulnerable individuals won’t go ignored in government decision-making. We pushed Gov. Pritzker to get private insurers not to charge co-pays for coronavirus testing and treatment.
  • Safety-net hospitals that depend on Medicaid revenue to keep their doors open are better prepared for a surge of patients in emergency departments needing intensive care.

Legal aid is vital to keeping our families, friends, and neighbors well. With your support, Legal Council can continue to combat public health threats and fight for equity of treatment, so that all of our communities can thrive.

Legal Council will continue to push Illinois and federal agencies to do what is right and what is fair for people with disabilities and with low-incomes. I hope you will continue to stand by our clients in this fight for health justice.


Tom Yates
Executive Director

For more information on COVID-19, please refer to resources provided by the Chicago Department of Public Health.