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1994 December

Stop the Insanity

Intake Made Intelligible

By James Morrissey, Susan Search, Tracy Gannoe, Marge Gustas & Theresa Simmons

Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) in Buffalo, New York, has moved from performing client intake once or twice a week using handwritten intake sheets to performing intake daily using computer technology. In doing so, NLS increased its case openings from 4,800 per year to almost 9,000 last year. This column describes the old intake system, details the problems with it, and explains how many of those problems were resolved with the design of a new intake system.

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The Social Security Administrative Reform Act of 1994

By Ethel Zelenske

The Social Security and Administrative Reform Act of 1994 establishes SSA as an independent agency and mandates several new restrictions on payment of disability benefits based on substance abuse or alcoholism.

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Credit Insurance

Obtaining Relief for Postclaim Ineligibility Determinations

By Rita Gordon Pereira

Credit insurance guarantees or secures payment of an outstanding obligation in a credit transaction in the event that the borrower is unable to pay. This column outlines the legal theories a consumer may use to challenge a postclaim determination of ineligibility, when the consumer has every reason to believe that the requested insurance was in effect.

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Creating Municipal Loan Programs to Save Inner-City Owner-Occupied Housing

By Ronald Kaye & Tray Smith

During the last ten years, inner-city, low-income, elderly, and minority homeowners have been losing their homes through foreclosure in record numbers. More often than not, these homeowners are the victims of con games. This column outlines a process for developing loan programs in partnership with a local government entity and describes the new and existing loan programs adopted to assist low-income homeowners.

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The Advocacy Challenge of a Lifetime

Shaping Medicaid Waivers to Serve the Poor

By Jane Perkins & Michele Melden

In recent months, states have begun using the Social Security Act's "Section 1115" experimental waiver provision to expand Medicaid to additional uninsured groups and to mandate prepaid managed care for the poor. Legal services attorneys face a twofold challenge: to represent our uninsured clients to assure that health care coverage is expanded carefully, while at the same time representing our Medicaid clients to avoid harmful Medicaid cutbacks and inadequate, unmonitored managed care plans.

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