News from PALawHelp.org

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Public Hearings Scheduled on Proposed Peoples Gas $156 Million Rate Increases

Peoples Gas has proposed to raise rates for its customers by approximately $156 million. The proposal could increase consumer bills by as much as 21%. The Public Utility Commission (PUC) is hosting six public input hearings to hear from communities about the impact this rate increase will have on Peoples’ customers. If you or your community will be affected by the rate proposal, you are strongly encouraged to participate in the public input hearings.

North Penn Legal Service Offers Presentation on Utility Rights & Assistance Programs in Wellsboro

North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) is presenting a free program at the Wellsboro Green Free Library on the topic of Utility Rights & Assistance Programs on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 5:00 PM Eastern.

NPLS Announces Free Legal Clinics in Northeast PA

Thanks to a generous grant from the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board, North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) will be able to provide free legal clinics and other services in rural communities of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Clean Slate 3.0 Enacted into Law - Allows Sealing of Some Old Felony Criminal Records

Clean Slate 3.0 was signed into law on December 14, 2023 by Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro. Under Clean Slate 3.0, less serious drug felonies will be eligible to be sealed by automation after 10 years without a subsequent misdemeanor or felony conviction. Other property-related felonies, such as thefts, will be eligible for sealing after 10 years upon granting of a court petition. It will also shorten waiting periods for sealing convictions of misdemeanor to 7 years and summary convictions to five years.

FTC Adds Support for Consumers in Multiple Languages for Fraud and ID Theft Reporting; Offers Multi-lingual Resources on How to Spot, Avoid, and Report Fraud

As part of its ongoing efforts to combat scammers and protect consumers in every community, the Federal Trade Commission is now providing the ability to report fraud, scams and deceptive practices in multiple languages in addition to English and Spanish. These new language access enhancements will allow people to file reports with the FTC in their preferred language when calling the FTC.

PUC and PA Department of Human Services Kick Off Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Season

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) joined with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to mark the start of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the 2023-24 winter heating season. This year’s LIHEAP season opened today, Nov. 1, 2023.

Shapiro Administration Announces Increases To SNAP Benefit Amounts And Changes To Income Limits, Alerts Public Of Planned EBT Outages

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced changes made by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to SNAP income and benefit limits. DHS is also alerting SNAP recipients of planned, temporary Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) service outages occurring on both October 12, 2023, and October 14, 2023, between 3:00 am and 9:00 am.

Washington County Hosts Free Pop UP Legal Clinic on Custody and Child Support - Oct. 27

Summit Legal Aid and volunteers from the Washington County Bar Association are proud to announce an upcoming FREE Pop-Up Community Legal Clinic about child custody and child support on Friday, October 27, 2023.

National Test of Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to be held on Oct. 4, 2023

A National Test of the Federal Communications Commission's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) will to be held on Oct. 4, 2023 at 2:20 PM. Alerts will be directed to all cell phones and electronic devices during the test.

Shapiro Administration Recognizes Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, Discusses Multi-Agency Approach To Strengthen Mental Health Supports And Save Lives

Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh, along with leaders from multiple state agencies and suicide prevention advocacy groups, joined together to recognize September as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Although mental health and suicide prevention are important to address year-round, this month provides a dedicated time for people, organizations, and communities to join their voices and share that there is hope, help is available, and healing is possible.  

Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund Applicants (PA HAF) Must Re-Register in System

All PAHAF applicants must re-register in PHFA’s Neighborly system to review and, if needed, update their application information. It’s important to understand that you do not need to reapply to the program, but applications cannot be processed until this re-registration step is taken.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADS: Protect Yourself from Scams

The Federal Trade Commission's Financial Adulting 101 webinars and materials offer advice to help recent graduate from scams.

FREE Webinar: Recovering from Elder Financial Exploitation

Join the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Center for Victims of Crime on June 8, 2023, for this FREE webinar. You'll learn about the Recovering from Elder Financial Exploitation report, a financial recovery framework explaining how and when older adults get money back after financial exploitation.

Free Webinar: Oral Health Coverage and Care for Older Adults

This webinar will provide an overview of oral health coverage options for older adults, including Medicare, Medicaid, and VA coverage. Presenters will share practice tips for advocates on how to best connect older adults to oral health coverage and care. The webinar will also provide an overview of other forms of dental coverage and care options, including stand-alone dental plans, clinics, and dental school options.

USCIS Updates Policy Guidance on Self-Selecting a Gender Marker on Forms and Documents

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is updating policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify that, effective immediately, USCIS will accept the self-identified gender marker for individuals requesting immigration benefits.

Dual Eligibility & Medicare Savings Programs Webinar offered by PA Health Law Project

The Pennsylvania Health Law Project is offering an informational webinar entitled Dual Eligibility & Medicare Savings Programs on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 11:00 AM Eastern.

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