Many Philadelphians may lose their TANF and Medical Assistance this Summer

July 15, 2011

Errors by overwhelmed workers anticipated during Logjam July

Philadelphiawelfare offices will have a lot of extra work to do this summer in addition to their other work.  They are being instructed to hold extra interviews for up to 9,300 TANF recipients and review around 16,000 Medical Assistance cases – all by August 12.  We are worried that many families will lose their benefits as welfare workers are overwhelmed by this unwieldy and hasty review process.

For a printable flier on what to expect this summer–including a preview of the notice thousands of families will be receiving–click here.

Who is at risk of losing their benefits?

There are three groups of people who may be at risk:

  1. Adults who have received TANF for more than 60 months in their lifetime since 1997;
  2. Adults who currently have a Good Cause reason not to participate in TANF welfare-to-work requirements; and
  3. Families with pending Medical Assistance renewals. Read the rest of this entry »

Hundreds of refugees face the loss of SSI benefits in October without Congressional fix

July 11, 2011

Community Legal Services has worked nationally for many years to allow asylees, refugees, and other humanitarian immigrants who were elderly or severely disabled receive SSI benefits.   We successfully litigated a national class action lawsuit (Kaplan v. Chertoff) that settled in Spring 2008.  We worked in a coalition of hundreds of other organizations to pass the  SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act (Public Law 110-328).  Now, however, without Congressional action quickly, this law will sunset, and many of these immigrants will once again lose their critical SSI benefits.

Starting on October 1, 2011, an estimated 2000 humanitarian immigrants will lose their SSI as a result of the expiration of this federal legislation.   Hundreds more will lose their SSI each month after that.

This law, which went into effect on October 1, 2008, temporarily allowed many humanitarian immigrants to receive up to 10 years of SSI from the date they obtained their status.  Previously, they were limited to only seven years.  But on October 1, 2011, the SSI Extension law will sunset and the limit will reset to seven years.

For advocates’ guide to working with immigrants faced with the termination of their SSI benefits, click here.

For more information about who these immigrants are, click here.

For a paper from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) about the policy implications behind an extension, click here.

For a paper from NILC detailing the barriers that these immigrants face in naturalizing, click here.


CLS advocates and allies protest plans to close school kitchens serving over 15,000 children daily

July 5, 2011

CLS advocates, along with the Center for Hunger-Free Communities, Drexel University School of Public Health; Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY); and the Philadelphia Urban Food and Fitness Alliance (PUFFA), protest Philadelphia School District plans to close school kitchens serving an estimated 15,300 school children each day.

Click here to read testimony submitted to the School Reform Commission.

Click here to read a recent Philadelphia Inquirer story on this topic.