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07/28/2014

Visit www.SocialSecurity.govThe Social Security Board of Trustees has released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. 

The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2033, unchanged from last year, with 77 percent of benefits still payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2016, also unchanged from last year's estimate, with 81 percent of benefits still payable.

07/25/2014

Pennsylvania Health Law ProjectThe Pennsylvania Health Law Project reports that Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Secretary Beverly Mackereth has announced that DPW has shelved the planned elimination of the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program.  The program was scheduled to end effective Jan. 1, 2015.

MAWD provides health coverage to over 34,000 working Pennsylvanians with disabilities who don’t qualify for other categories of Medical Assistance, usually due to their earnings.  It provides an important incentive for people with disabilities to work and still keep their Medical Assistance coverage.  It allows individuals with disabilities to work without fear of losing their critically important health insurance coverage, including personal assistance services and other supports they need to get and keep a job and remain in the community. 

07/25/2014

The Disability Integration Project at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. has recently launched a new website www.OlmsteadRights.org that is desigend to inform a wide audience about the rights given to diabled persons under the Olmstead decision of the United States Supreme Court. It also provides resources and information for self-advocates, family and friends of people with disabilities, and legal advocates alike. 

“Olmstead” refers to the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court case Olmstead v. L.C. in which the Court held that people with disabilities have a qualified right to receive state-funded support and services in the community when appropriate, rather than in institutions. Olmstead was a landmark disability rights decision that has impacted the lives of millions of people – both with and without disabilities. The new OlmsteadRights site was launched in conjunction of the 15th anniversary of the Olmstead Supreme Court decision. 

07/23/2014

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued an Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, along with a question and answer document about the guidance and a Fact Sheet for Small Businesses.  The Enforcement GuidanceQ&A document, and Fact Sheet will be available on the  EEOC's website.

This is the first comprehensive update of the Commission's guidance on the subject of discrimination against pregnant workers since the 1983 publication of a Compliance Manual chapter on the subject.  This guidance supersedes that document and incorporates significant developments in the law during the past 30 years.

07/21/2014

Pennsylvania Bar Association - Your Other PartnerA first-of-its-kind educational tool is now available to help Pennsylvania Family Court judges, lawyers and families reduce the anxiety caused by the courtroom interviews of children at the center of custody disputes.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section has produced a 73-minute video program, “Judicial Interview of the Child,” that will be distributed statewide to family court judges and posted on YouTube. The video is being premiered to PBA Family Law Section members on Friday morning, July 11, during the section’s summer conference in Cambridge, Maryland.

07/18/2014

The Practising Law Institute is launching its first Pro Bono Open Interactive Course, Effective Communication with the Legal Services Client, on August 4-8, 2014. The course will run for five days (varying between 10-45 minutes each day), from August 4-8, 2014. It is open to all, without cost, and blends traditional course materials with videos, discussion forums (to which you will be asked to contribute your observations) and other activities that can be viewed at any time of day or night.

The program will show you how to create an environment in which you can educate and empower your clients — and achieve the best possible outcomes.

07/14/2014

A website redesigned to better serve attorneys, financial institutions and others who support civil legal aid for the state’s poorest individuals and families has been launched by the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Account, or IOLTA, Board.

Among other things, the new website (www.paiolta.org) highlights the “I Bank on Justice” Campaign — an initiative to recognize attorneys and firms that use a “Platinum Leader Bank,” or one that pays a 1 percent premium yield on IOLTA accounts.

07/03/2014

The Internal Revenue Service has introduced a new, shorter application form to help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status more easily.

The new Form 1023-EZ, available on IRS.gov, is three pages long, compared with the standard 26-page Form 1023. Most small organizations, including as many as 70 percent of all applicants, qualify to use the new streamlined form. Most organizations with gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less are eligible.

07/01/2014

Pennsylvania Health Law ProjectThe June edition of the Health Law PA News, a free monthly newsletter from the Pennsylvania Health Law Project is now available.

For prior editions or more information about the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, please visit the PHLP website at www.phlp.org.

06/24/2014

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is partnering with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) to bring employers a solution to help businesses efficiently and accurately respond to unemployment compensation (UC) information requests and to speed the processing of claims.

The State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) and SIDES E-Response offer employers – free of charge – a secure, electronic and nationally-standardized format to better anticipate and supply the data needed to respond to UC information requests, reduce follow-up phone calls and streamline UC response processes.