(Omaha, Nebraska.) Legal Aid of Nebraska is pleased to announce it was recently awarded two grants totaling $37,500 from United Way of the Midlands: $20,000 for the Safety and Justice for Domestic Violence Victims Program and $17,500 for the Making Equal Justice Happen: Hope and Opportunity Through Legal Aid Program. Thanks to the generosity of United Way donors, Legal Aid will be able to continue to make equal justice happen in the most underserved communities in the Omaha metro. The Making Equal Justice Happen Program aims to increase financial security for low-income families for whom adequate legal help is often unavailable or too costly. Through the Safety and Justice for Domestic Violence Victims Program, victims of domestic violence will receive assistance from Legal Aid attorneys to move forward into an environment free from violence, threats and isolation. According to a study released by the Legal Services Corporation in 2017, 86% of all legal cases reported by those living in poverty did not receive the help necessary to address these problems. Too often the rights of low-income individuals simply go unrecognized and unenforced, leading to catastrophic consequences.
With the help of this grant, Legal Aid of Nebraska is able to offer legal services to intervene on behalf of clients during crises such as domestic or intimate partner violence, threats, fears for the well-being or custody of their children, or other abuse. Legal Aid will also be able to provide civil legal assistance to people in worsening poverty, helping them achieve financial stability and maintain basic needs. In 2017, Legal Aid assisted over 2,000 individuals in cases related to spouse abuse, and over 4,000 individuals seeking social security benefits, SSI, and other means of support.
An elderly client of Legal Aid faced the prospect of losing her Medicaid. Losing this coverage would have meant losing both her and her husband’s access to critical medication. The client knew this would place both of their lives in danger and turned to Legal Aid for assistance. Legal Aid filed a notice and requested a fair hearing, formulating a strong case on behalf of the client to demonstrate their continued eligibility for Medicaid. The opposing party, seeing the strong case built, withdrew their allegations against the couple and reinstated their Medicaid. As a result, the client and her husband were once again eligible for the full coverage of their medication.
“This support from the United Way of the Midlands delivers direct and powerful results for low-income families in our area,” said Milo Mumgaard, Executive Director of Legal Aid of Nebraska. “We know firsthand, and studies have shown, that having an experienced, skillful lawyer in your corner achieves positive change in people’s lives. Both these programs funded by the United Way do just that, bettering so many lives for the better. Thank you United Way!”
About United Way of the Midlands:
Thanks to donors, volunteers and community partners, United Way of the Midlands (UWM) is not only focused on addressing our community’s human needs today; it is focused on what can be and what should be. It is building on today’s strong partnerships to create even more comprehensive human service efforts tomorrow, so our community can solve some of the root causes of poverty. UWM is community-based, community-focused. Thanks to those who share their strength, UWM is COMMUNITY STRONG. Please visit UnitedWayMidlands.org for more information
About Legal Aid of Nebraska:
Legal Aid of Nebraska has worked since 1963 to provide quality civil legal services to individuals without the privilege of direct access to legal advice and representation. The legal system can be complex, intimidating, and difficult to navigate – that is why Legal Aid strives to come alongside low-income Nebraskans to tackle inequality and increase opportunity. Our clients achieve positive outcomes that measurably improve the quality of their lives, help them get up and out of poverty, and gain increased family stability.