July 29, 2022

Update for Mortgage Modifications! Many FHA-insured borrowers have faced significant obstacles to obtaining a mortgage loan modification, where their loan involves a co-borrower and the co-borrower is unavailable. Mortgage servicers have generally allowed a mortgage modification only where the absent co-borrowers execute the loan modification agreement.  But that may, as a practical matter, be impossible because death, divorce, separation, domestic violence or other significant life events involving the co-borrower.  A June 29 update to HUD’s Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, 4000.1 (June 29, 2022), effective September 26, 2022, clarifies that FHA does not require unavailable co-borrowers to execute FHA mortgage loan modification agreements.  This is an important policy clarification that should help borrowers more easily access alternatives to foreclosure.

Nassau Suffolk Law Services assists eligible homeowners to prevent foreclosure, through loss mitigation options and/or legal challenges by providing: advice and counsel, limited assistance at settlement conferences, pro-se pleadings and motions, full representation, and possible appeals, and/or help with loan modification paperwork. Suffolk residents can call 631-232-2400. Nassau residents can call 516-292-8100.

Education Advocacy Tip! In May 2022, Board of Regents approved a temporary expansion of the existing process to appeal to graduate with a lower score on a Regents Examination. Per the temporary expansion, any student may utilize this “special appeal” to earn a diploma with a lower score on a Regents Exam, under the following conditions: 1) The student must have taken the Regents Exam during the June 2022, August 2022, January 2023, June 2023 or August 2023 administration periods; 2) The student must have a score of 50-64 on the Regents Examination that is the subject of the appeal and was taken during one of the above administrations; and 3) The student has attained a course average in the course that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school and is recorded on the student’s official transcript with grades achieved by the student in each quarter of the school year. Under this special appeal, a student need only take the examination under appeal one time and “the appeal may be completed any time prior to a student’s graduation”.

Nassau Suffolk Law Services’ Education and Disability Rights Project (EDRP) represents students with disabilities between the ages of 5-21 in Special Education matters, including attendance at Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings, Resolution Sessions and Impartial Hearings. In addition, the EDRP assists students in issues pertaining to residency and homelessness and helps adults with developmental disabilities to secure eligibility and services through the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Suffolk residents can call 631-232-2400. Nassau residents can call 516-292-8100.

NEW SSI Electronic Protective Filing Tool - Individuals who want to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can now use an online tool that was recently released by the Social Security Administration. Applicants and those assisting applicants can use the new tool to request an appointment to apply for SSI benefits. It is a great opportunity for those seeking SSI to establish a protective filing date. Protective filing refers to the date by which SSA receives an individual's intent to file for SSI payments, which SSA then uses as the application date provided the individual files an application within 60 days. Protective filing dates are important because they are used to determine when an individual can start receiving SSI benefits.

Applicants need to provide only basic information including:
  • Name, date of birth, and Social Security number of the person interested in SSI
  • Mailing address, phone number, and email address (optional) for the person interested in SSI
  • Your name, phone number, and email address (optional) if you are helping someone else

After you complete the online process, a Social Security representative schedules an appointment to help you apply for benefits. They will send the appointment date and time by mail (and email, if provided) within 7-14 business days to the person interested in applying. Applicants can also indicate "Priority life circumstances” – such as homelessness, a terminal illness, or recent release from incarceration. If one of these priority life circumstances is indicated in the application, an SSA employee will attempt to contact the applicant by phone within three business days to either apply for SSI benefits then or to schedule an appointment to apply.

Nassau Suffolk Law Services' Disability Advocacy Project (DAP) assists disabled persons in appealing the initial denial of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD) applications. Eligibility for services is usually based on the receipt of Temporary Assistance (cash public assistance) from the Department of Social Services. Suffolk residents can call 631-232-2400. Nassau residents can call 516-292-8100.

Navigating Special Education in New York

Thursday • September 8th, 2022 • 1:00pm-2:00pm

Many families can struggle with navigating the special education process. NSLS Staff Attorney, Danielle Leake, will give a general overview of both federal and state special education laws, as well as provide a step-by-step guide on how to navigate and secure special education services for students with disabilities in New York State.


The Post Foreclosure Options LSCA training was held virtually by Kathy Maher, Foreclosure Unit Staff Attorney, on March 31st, 2022. Ms. Maher discussed actions to take if you are assisting someone who is at risk of foreclosure or is already in court for a foreclosure. This presentation is appropriate for attorneys and advocates alike. Due to technical difficulties, a recording of this presentation is not available. Please register to download the presentation slides.

The Accessing Healthcare and Preventing Medical Debt LSCA training was held virtually on April 28th, 2022 by Nassau Suffolk Law Services Supervising Attorney Sharon Campo and the Health and Welfare Council. The presentation discussed how to apply for healthcare (including Medicaid), what to do when you are denied health insurance or your health insurance denies a claim, the new Surprise Bill Law, and how to handle medical debt collection. Please register to view the training.

The Role of An Advocate LSCA training was held virtually by Cathy Lucidi, Director of Community Relations on June 9th, 2022 providing tools and tips on how to be the most effective advocate you can be. Please register to view the training.
If your organization is interested in having Nassau Suffolk Law Services present on what services we provide or a specific area of law, please contact the Legal Support Center for Advocates at 631-232-2400 extension 3324 (advocates only).
The Community Legal Help Project
Brentwood Public Library: Tuesdays 2-5pm
Middle Country Public Library, Selden Building: Thursdays 3-6pm
For more information, please see our flyer.
Are you looking to give back to the community while also getting paid? We would love to have you apply for our currently open attorney, paralegal, and receptionist positions. To find out more, go to our website.
A little more about our volunteer needs:

  • Volunteer attorneys needed to assist pro bono clients with direct client representation in family, bankruptcy, matrimonial, and elder law
  • Provide half-hour legal consultations with our Suffolk County library project in immigration, matrimonial, family, landlord/tenant, elder, consumer, and more

  • Law Student / Paralegal/ Pre-law undergraduate internships
  • Assist Law Services Staff with intake, case analysis, case referral, and recruitment of volunteer attorneys
  • Nassau County Volunteer Landlord/ Tenant Attorney for a Day

631 232-2400 | 516 292-8100 | 631 369-1112

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