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1992 January

Youth Law Developments

By The National Center for Youth Law

The past year has seen substantial successes in litigation targeting systemic inadequacies in foster care and children's protective services; meanwhile, children's advocates continued to work toward full implementation of both expanded SSI eligibility under Zebley and federal laws protecting families with children from housing discrimination.

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Welfare Law Developments

By The Center on Social Welfare Policy and Law

This article reviews welfare developments from October 1990 to September 1991, including changes in AFDC-UP, benefit levels, electronic benefit transfer systems, pass through payments, and tax credits.

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Veterans Law Developments

By The National Veterans Legal Services Project

The Court of Veterans Appeals is forcing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to live up to its obligations, and applicants for veterans benefits are benefiting from this reform. This article discusses the new cases defining the VA's duties, continuing Agent Orange rulemaking, congressional action, and retroactive education benefits for Vietnam veterans.

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The Law of the Elderly Poor in 1991

By The National Senior Citizens Law Center

This article reviews various court decisions and pieces of legislation and regulations enacted in the past year that will have an impact on the rights of the elderly poor. Topics discussed include age and disability discrimination, continued health care coverage under COBRA, elderly housing, ERISA, home health care, Medicaid, Medicare, nursing home issues, protective services, reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, and social security and SSI benefits.

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Farmworker Law Developments in 1991

By The Migrant Legal Action Program

This article discusses the successes and failures that migrant farm workers experienced during 1991, including personal injury awards under the AWPA, compensation for waiting and travel time under the FLSA, protection from harmful pesticides, growers' questionable employment practices under the H-2A program, migrant housing, unemployment insurance eligibility, food stamp eligibility, payment of social security benefits, and educational programs for migrant children.

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Medical Treatment Rights of Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities

By The National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent and Disabled

Developments in medical treatment rights of disabled persons include implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, passage of federal legislation requiring health care facilities to provide patients with information on advance directives, and several cases involving the refusal of life-sustaining treatment.

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Health Care for the Poor

By The National Health Law Program

Health law developments in 1991 included implementation of several OBRA-90 Medicaid and Medicare provisions expanding coverage, proposed cutbacks in state programs in response to recessionary fiscal constraints, and renewed interest in universal health coverage.

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Family Law Developments

By Joan Pennington

Although legislatures have responded to the needs of battered women and their children, judicial developments in the areas of custody and divorce have been mixed. Mediation and joint custody continue to be exposed as detrimental to women and children, and, disappointingly, child support enforcement is still a national disgrace.

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Employment Law Developments

By The National Employment Law Project

Litigation during the past year addressed many areas of employment law. Some of the developments discussed in this article concern discrimination law, including the Supreme Court's decision on "fetal protection" policies, labor law, including limits on drug testing in the workplace, unemployment compensation, and the reemployment rights of reservists.

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Developments in Education Law

By The Center for Law and Education

This article discusses the rights of students with disabilities, school discipline cases, and school financing systems. It also reviews changes in vocational education and early intervention services for infants and toddlers.

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Consumer and Energy Law Developments During 1991

By The National Consumer Law Center

This article summarizes developments in consumer and energy law. Consumer law developments discussed in this article include the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act, usury after deregulation of interest rates, high-rate lending in minority neighborhoods, and changes to the Bankruptcy Code that affect low-income consumers. Energy law developments that are discussed include LIHEAP, the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and rural electric cooperatives.

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Child Support Enforcement in 1991

By Paula Roberts

The focus in child support enforcement continues to be on proper implementation of the Family Support Act of 1988. This article discusses various requirements imposed on IV-D agencies, including timely provision of services, timely payment of collections, pass through issues, and the new child support guidelines.

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