Cochran Firm's Helping Hands Blog

Safe & Affordable Housing

If you are searching for safe and affordable housing options in the Nashville, TN. Area, the following program may be able to help:

Through a variety of programs, the Metropolitan Development and housing Agency (MDHA) provides housing assistance to Nashville citizens. Since 1938 MDHA, known then as the Nashville Housing Authority, has been providing safe, decent and affordable housing to thousands of low to moderate-income families and/or individuals throughout the Nashville area. Listed below are brief descriptions of the programs they offer for low to moderate-income families.

Public Housing – Public housing is a government subsidized program designed to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for families. Public housing is an important step toward assisting families in becoming self-sufficient. Public housing also offers senior citizens and individuals with disabilities the opportunity to live independently. To apply for public housing, applicants must meet several requirements before they are eligible to enroll in a public housing program.

To apply for MDHA’s public housing, applicants must apply in person at the property location in which they wish to live and provide the following information:

  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Picture ID of all household members 18 years old and older
  • Verification of income, checking and savings accounts
  • Verification of any assets

Section 8 Rental Assistance & Moderate Rehabilitation Program – Section 8 and the Moderate Rehabilitation program are both federally funded programs that are designed to help families and individuals find decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. In addition to helping individuals find housing, both programs also helps individuals with the cost of rent and utilities. Through these programs, individuals are expected to pay 30 – 40 percent of their adjusted income or a minimum of $50.00 per month for both rent and utilities. Any balance remaining will be paid for by MDHA.

The Section 8 Program also houses two additional programs, the Family Unification Program and the Family Self-Sufficiency program. Through the fireplace2Family Unification Program, assistance is provided to families who have or are at risk of having their children removed from their home due to the lack of suitable housing. Through the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, individuals are linked to services that will help them achieve the goal of becoming free of governmental assistance.

For more information about the housing services and programs offered by MDHA, call (615) 252-6500.

At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.

Connecting Lives

Paying for phone services can be very expensive. Thanks to the following programs, eligible Marylanders can receive reduced rates and discounts:

Bank Piggy_savings_237743_lTo help keep phone rates affordable, the government has created two telephone assistance programs. These telephone assistance programs are available to Marylanders through the Tel-Life program. The Tel-Life program is available to help low-income Maryland residents secure affordable phone service through the government’s Lifeline and Link-Up program. Through Lifeline and Link-Up, eligible low-income households may qualify to receive reduced monthly telephone rates as well as discounts on line connections and wiring charges. Below are brief descriptions of each program:

Lifeline: The Lifeline program offers monthly discounts to eligible low-income families. Through Lifeline individuals may be eligible to receive a discount on basic monthly telephone service. Discounts available through the Lifeline program can be applied to either landline (home) or wireless (cell) phone service. However, individuals cannot receive a Lifeline discount on both services. The application process and total amount of discounts available varies by state and phone company.

Link Up: The Link Up program helps low-income households reduce the cost of initiating telephone service. Link Up will pay half of the installation fee (up to a maximum of $30) or waive the entire installation fee for the initiation of home phone service or the activation of a wireless phone service. However, the Link Up program will not cover charges related to wiring and telephone jacks within the home.

Who qualifies for Tel-Life?

Maryland’s Tel-Life program is available to residents who receive assistance through the following programs:

 

Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)

Public Assistance to Adults (PAA)

Food Stamps/Food Supplement Program (FSP)

Medical Assistance (MA)

Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP)

 Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP)

Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

How to apply?

To apply for the Lifeline and Link Up programs through Tel-Life, individuals must contact their local phone company to request an application form. If the phone company is not authorized to provide Lifeline or Link-Up discounts, contact the state’s consumer advocate office or public utility commission to locate an authorized service provider.

NOTE: As a Lifeline or Link Up customer, individuals are not protected from being disconnected if they fail to pay their telephone bill. Additionally, discounts available through Lifeline and Link Up cannot be applied to an individual’s outstanding balance with their local phone company.

For more information about Tel-Life and the Lifeline and Link Up programs, call (800) 525-0145 or contact your local phone company.

If you or a loved one has a disability and would like more information about Social Security Disability benefits or need assistance in applying for Social Security Disability benefits, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security benefits that you deserve.

Promoting and Protecting Health

Choosing the right medical program for your child can sometimes be difficult. The following program in Mississippi provides a wide range of medical services for children with disabilities:child

The Children’s Medical Program is administered through the Mississippi State Department of Health. The program provides medical and surgical care to children with chronic or disabling conditions. For families with children who were born with a disabling condition or have developed a disability or chronic illness, the Children’s Medical Program can organize care for the child’s condition. They can arrange for different therapies such as physical and occupational as well as provide equipment and medicine for your child.

Who can qualify?

Children from birth to the age of 20 are eligible for the Children’s Medical Program. Applicants must be Mississippi residents and meet the income guidelines established by the program. Eligibility is also determined based on family size and the estimated cost of treatment.

The following are eligible conditions that are covered under the Children’s Medical Program:

Spina bifida

Cerebral palsy

Cleft palate

Seizure disorders

Cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and hemophilia (through special programs)

Hydrocephalus

Orthopedic problems (other than from accidents)

Congenital heart problems requiring surgery

Intestinal or urinary defects requiring surgery

How to apply:

To apply for the Children’s Medical Program applicants must make an appointment to apply in person at their local health department. When applying applicants must bring the following:

  • Statement with specific diagnosis, requested services, and physician referral
  • Copies of pertinent medical reports about your child's problem.
  • Complete and accurate financial information.
  • Names, relations and ages of all household members.
  • Private insurance or Medicaid card, if applicable.
  • Signature of parent or legal guardian.

To provide specialized care throughout local communities, the Children’s Medical Program currently operates several satellite clinics throughout the state of Mississippi in addition to the central multi-discipline clinic in Jackson at Blake Clinic for Children.

To learn more about the program or to find your local health department office, call 1-800-844-0898 or (601) 987-3965.

Effective Hurricane Preparedness Requires All of Us Working Together

People with disabilities and other people with access and functional needs have definite disadvantages in times of disaster.  However, the people who fail to prepare who are the ones who are most vulnerable in disasters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends the following steps be implemented to make sure all are prepared within our communities this upcoming hurricane season.

HurricaneEven though Hurricane Preparedness week has long since passed, there is still plenty of time to get ready for this upcoming storm season. When people with disabilities have a plan for disasters and are prepared, they are in a much better position to ensure that they have the best possible outcomes during and after a disaster such as a hurricane. Almost half of the population has access and functional needs, and the community needs to keep this percentage of the population in mind when planning for disasters. FEMA’s campaign, Be A Force of Nature, urges that people unite within their communities to help friends, family, coworkers and neighbors, with disabilities and otherwise, to make sure they’re prepared for the next severe weather event or hurricane.

The fact is for some communities, people with access/functional needs and those disabled are not guaranteed to be included in your city or town’s emergency preparedness plan. Whether or not you have a disability or know others who do, FEMA asks that you actively become more involved in your state, regional or local emergency management efforts. If this is done, everyone is working together to fulfill EVERYONE’S needs to create a fully prepared community. FEMA encourages all individuals in hurricane-prone areas to know your risk and make a pledge to prepare at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

To learn more about FEMA’s efforts and how to prepare for severe weather and hurricanes, you can watch the YouTube video “Preparing for Disasters for People with Disabilities” or visit FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination website at http://www.fema.gov/about/odic.

At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.

Housing Options

Due to many different circumstances, countless families and individuals are currently facing homelessness or struggling to pay their rent. The following organization serves Birmingham residents:

The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) provides affordable housing for low to moderate-income families and/or individuals. They partner with their residents and others from the community to enhance and ensure the quality of life within their communities. HABD provides assistance to families through various programs. Listed below are brief descriptions of the programs they offer for low to moderate-income families.Housing

HABD Public Housing – Public housing is a government subsidized program designed to provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for families. Public Housing is an important step toward assisting families in becoming self-sufficient. Public Housing also allows senior citizens and individuals with disabilities the opportunity to live independently. To apply for Public Housing, applicants must meet several requirements before they are enrolled in HABD’s Public Housing program. All applicants must be 19 years of age or older and provide the following information:

  • Photo ID for all family members 18 years of age and older
  • Social Security Card for each family member
  • Birth Certificates for each family member
  • Copy of marriage license (if applicable)
  • Proof and source of income for each family member

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher – Section 8 is the federal government’s rental assistance program that is designed for helping low income families obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing. Through Section 8, HABD offers financial assistance to help families in affording housing that is owned by a private landlord. Families interested in participating in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program may apply to HABD when the waiting list is open and applications are being accepted. After applying, applicants are placed on waiting list with preference given to the homeless and involuntarily displaced individuals first. Once an applicant’s name reaches the top of the list, they are contacted for an interview with HABD. During the interview process applicants must provide HABD with the following information:

  • Income Verification
  • Family Composition
  • Social Security Numbers for all family members
  • Any additional information required by HABD

Applicants must also pass a criminal background screening and attend a briefing before receiving a Housing Choice Voucher.

Applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program are taken on an occasional basis. However, HABD will give public notice of when and where the waiting list will be open for applicants. Public notice for Section 8 availability is given through public service announcements and local newspaper notices. For more information about Section 8, call (205) 521-0675.

Moderate Rehabilitation Program – Moderate Rehabilitation is a project-based assistance program. Families participating in the program must live in housing contracted to HABD in exchange for money to repair the units to meet federal housing quality standards. The family’s portion of the rent is the greater 10% of the family’s gross income or 30% of the family’s adjusted income. HABD will pay the difference between the family’s portion of rent and the rent established. For more information about Moderate Rehabilitation, call (205) 521-0675.

Lease-Purchase Homeownership Program – HABD offers homeownership opportunities for eligible low to moderate income families. To be eligible for the program applicants must:

  • Be a first time homebuyer
  • Have an annual income of at least $15,000 (However, income must be below 80% of the median income for the Birmingham Metropolitan Area)
  • Agree to participate in HABD’s Homeownership Education Program
  • Pay a $500 down payment which will be credited toward the purchase of the house.

For more information about the Lease-Purchase Homeownership Program, call (205) 521-0628.

At The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers we understand that for many clients, Social Security Disability benefits can't come soon enough. If your application has been denied, don't give up! Our experienced Social Security disability lawyers are extremely familiar with the Social Security Disability application process and will work hard to help you get the benefits you deserve. If you or a loved one has a disability and would like assistance with handling your claim, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers today at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security disability benefits you deserve.

 


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