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Nassau Suffolk Law Services Celebrates

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Nassau Suffolk Law Services is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with new supervising attorneys in our Behavioral Health Law Project. Paola Arango and John Batanchiev were recently promoted to Senior Staff Attorneys for our Behavioral Health Law Project as well as the Veterans and Public Benefits Units.

Read more about Behavioral Health Law Project

Emergency Rental Assistance Program Application Period Open in Hempstead and Islip. Opens on June 1 For Most of Long Island.

The federal government has allocated over $2 billion to help New Yorkers who are struggling with rental or utility arrears as a result of the pandemic. The money was distributed to New York State and several communities across Long Island. Residents of Islip, Hempstead, and Oyster Bay can apply for assistance directly from their town's programs. Residents of other Long Island communities will apply through a website operated by New York State. Applications are being accepted NOW in Hempstead and Islip. We expect the New York State website to start accepting applications on June 1.

No matter where you live on Long Island, to be eligible, you must have:

  • An income below $94,900 for a family of 4 (or $103,900 in the Town of Hempstead)
  • A financial hardship directly or indirectly due to COVID-19
  • Rental or utility arrears

Families are eligible for help regardless of whether they have a written lease and regardless of immigration status.

Tenants with questions about legal protections for renters during the pandemic can also find an updated FAQ on our website.

Residents of Hempstead

Apply through Town of Hempstead Emergency Rental Assistance Program (

Applications will be accepted until 5 pm on June 23.

To get help applying call (844) 260-7536.

Residents of Islip

Apply through Town of Islip: Community Development Agency (

Read on for information about a housing information fair at the Brentwood Library to help residents of the Town of Islip and others who need help with the application process or have other housing-related legal questions.

Other Long Islanders

(Not residents of Hempstead, Oyster Bay, or Islip)

Apply through the New York State website. Emergency Rental Assistance Program | OTDA ( Applications are not available yet, but we expect the application window to open June 1.

The New York State website includes information on what households can do now to be ready.

How Will Marijuana Legalization Affect My Client's Criminal Record?

A criminal record can be an obstacle in many areas of life, especially if you are convicted of a drug charge. Recent changes in New York's cannabis laws will help many people move forward with a clean slate. Under a law passed in March 2021, many people with criminal records for Marijuana-related charges will have those records expunged.

Read more to find what has changed and what is legal under the new law.

Read More

New Protections for People Facing Financial Hardship


New York recently passed a number of important protections for people facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Utilities, now including internet and cable, cannot be disconnected if the customer is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. This protection lasts until 180 days after the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency or December 31. Another new protection shields stimulus payments from being seized by debt collectors.

We have updated the personal finance FAQ on our website to address these and other important protections for consumers.

Read More

COVID-19 Mortgage Wellness Check - Act Today


Now is the time to get your mortgage checked at no cost to see what options are available.

A record number of homeowners in New York State have fallen behind on their payments during the COVID-19 crisis. Many homeowners are in temporary forbearance agreements with their servicers. Others who have missed payments may have direct agreements with their lenders or just be behind in payments. State and federally imposed foreclosure moratoria will end for many homeowners in June. These and other types of forbearance and deferral plans are only temporary solutions.

Learn How the HOPP Network Can Help

Legal Support Center For Advocates Presentations

Work Incentives Planning And Assistance (WIPA) For Disability Advocates

June 9, 12:30-2:00 pm

Presented by Lynnette Shirk, Supervising Community Work Incentive Coordinator at the Viscardi Center

Learn about: 

- Work incentive programs through the Social Security Administration

- Transitioning from SSI/SSD to self-sufficiency

- The effect of work on Medicare and Medicaid other benefits 

- How clients can receive individualized benefits counseling

This program is offered in collaboration with the Viscardi Center.

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, And Recovery (SOAR) Orientation For Case Managers

June 16, 12:30-2:00 pm

Presented by SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance Center

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is designed to increase access to SSI/SSDI for eligible adults and children who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. SOAR trains case managers to complete and submit a thorough SSI/SSDI application packet.

The webinar will provide an overview of SOAR and the SOAR process, review the SOAR Online Course, and discuss next steps for agency and community-wide SOAR implementation.  

- Learn more about SOAR

Learn how to get involved with SOAR

- Learn about implementing a State and Local SSI/SSDI Outreach Initiative.

Celebrating The Legacy Of Executive Director, Jeffrey Seigel

NSLS staff gathered virtually to celebrate retired Executive Director Jeffrey Seigel, Esq.'s legacy on April 28. Members of the NY State Senate and Assembly, the Governor, Attorney General, Office of the Comptroller and Hofstra Law School all acknowledged Jeff's accomplishments and contributions to the community through proclamations and letters of recognition. The NSLS Board of Directors also presented Jeff with a video tribute from staff, alumni, the Board and NSLS supporters.

Jeff's Tenure at NSLS

Law Services in the Community


Things have been very busy in Community Education lately! We've connected with elected officials, community-based organizations, hospitals, schools, libraries, and other partners to deliver our services and knowledge in community spaces people trust to ensure Long Islander's rights are protected during this pandemic. Contact us to request training geared toward the interests of your organization!

What we've been up to...

We're Hiring!

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We're hiring for multiple positions. Check out a listing of all postings on our website.

View Postings

Programs for General Audience

Brentwood Library Housing Information Fair

In-Person Outdoor Event

Many people are experiencing housing problems because of the pandemic. Come to meet with an attorney, law student or housing counselor to learn more about emergency relief programs and your legal rights as a landlord, tenant or homeowner. Get help submitting an emergency rental assistance application.

Learn about:

- Emergency Rental Assistance (also called ERAP or ERA)

- Other emergency assistance programs

- Eviction

- Foreclosure

June 22, 5:00-7:00 pm 


Homeowners Rights During The Pandemic

Presented by NSLS Foreclosure Prevention Project in

Partnership with the Copiague Memorial Public Library

Many homeowners are struggling to pay their housing expenses because of the pandemic. Come learn about homeowners' rights and options from Nassau Suffolk Law Services' Foreclosure Unit.

Topics discussed will include options for working with your lender and the foreclosure process, including:

- Forbearance; 

- Repayment plans;

- Loan modifications;

- The foreclosure process;

- Homeowner assistance programs.

July 21, 6:00 pm




Presented by NSLS Veterans Rights Project in

Partnership with the Massapequa Public Library

Benefits and services from the Veterans Administration are critical for many who served in our armed forces.

Join us to learn about how to overcome common obstacles to accessing Veterans Administration services, including upgrading discharge status.

The presentation will also cover legal issues affecting Long Island Veterans as a result of the pandemic. 

June 24, 2:00 pm


Donate Your Time, Talent, or Treasure to Support Neighbors in Need

Compassionate attorneys and other volunteers are needed to assist people with limited resources who are facing legal challenges on their own.

For more information about becoming a Pro Bono Attorney or NSLS Volunteer, please contact:

Carolyn McQuade: (631) 232-2400, ext. 3325,

Susan Biller: (516) 292-8100, ext. 3136,

To help people facing eviction, please contact:

Michele Fischetti: (631) 232-2400, ext. 3362,

Roberta Scoll: (516) 292-8100, ext. 3115,

Support our Spring Campaign
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