March 23, 2022

The Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDCLI) will be accepting applications for the Section 8/Suffolk County Housing Choice Voucher Program until Friday March 25th, 2022 at 5:00pm. CDCLI administers the Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 program in Suffolk County on behalf of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. The Housing Choice Voucher Program helps qualified households meet their rental obligations. The landlord will receive part of his/her rent from the tenant, and part from the Housing Choice Voucher program. Voucher holders may live in any legal rental unit of their choosing, subject to the Housing Choice Voucher program rules and regulations. Non-resident applicants must live in Suffolk County during the first year of the program. To find our more and to apply, please visit the CDCLI website.

Legal tip: Sometimes landlords will try to collect or sue on an amount greater than what a tenant owes per their Section 8 lease with the landlord. This is illegal. A Section 8 tenant agrees in the Section 8 lease only to pay the tenant share of the rent. A Section 8 tenant does not become liable for the Section 8 share of the rent as “rent” even after the termination of the subsidy until there is a new agreement with a landlord.

New protections against surprise or out-of-network medical bills. Since March 31, 2015, New York consumers with health coverage subject to New York law (e.g. HMO) were protected by surprise bills from out-of-network medical providers. It’s A Surprise Bill At An In-Network Hospital or Ambulatory Surgical Center if an Out-of-Network Provider Treats You and:
  • An in-network provider was not available; OR
  • An out-of-network provider provided services without your knowledge; OR
  • Unforeseen medical services were provided when you received health care services.
It is NOT a surprise bill if you chose to receive services from an out-of-network provider instead of from an available in-network provider before you got to the hospital or ambulatory surgical center. The Federal No Surprises Act went into effect January 1st, 2022. As such, beginning January 1, 2022, the following services will usually be a surprise bill when provided by an out-of-network provider in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center: emergency medicine, anesthesia, pathology, radiology, laboratory, neonatology, assistant surgeon, hospitalist, or intensivist services. If your health care services were before January 1, 2022, you are only protected from a surprise bill if you were treated by an out-of-network physician (and not other health care providers) at an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center.

Prior to the passage of the No Surprises Act, consumers who had self-insurance or health coverage sponsored by their employer or union were not entitled to protections from the New York Surprise Bill as this type of insurance could only receive protections from federal law, not state law. The Federal No Surprises Act now provides protections from surprise medical bills from an out-of-network provider in an in-network hospital or ambulatory surgical center apply if your employer or union self-funds your coverage for plans issued or renewed on and after January 1, 2022. You are only responsible for paying your in-network cost-sharing (copayment, coinsurance, or deductible) for a surprise bill. However, for plans issued or renewed before January 1, 2022, you may qualify for an independent dispute resolution (IDR) through New York State by submitting an IDR application to dispute the bill. To be eligible, services must be provided by a doctor at a hospital or ambulatory surgical center and you aren’t given all the required information about your care. 

For more information and/or how to file a complaint or request independent dispute resolution regarding a surprise bill, please visit the New York Department of Financial Services website.

Nassau Suffolk Law Services provides legal representation and advice to eligible Nassau and Suffolk residents experiencing consumer debt problems (like student loans), especially in the matters of medical and credit card debt. Suffolk residents can call 631-232-2400. Nassau residents can call 516-292-8100.

Deadline for Community-Based Long Term Care without a lookback is quickly approaching! Applications filed for Medicaid  in order to obtain any community-based long term care service (such as home health care services, private duty nursing services, personal care services, and assisted living program services) will have a “lookback” that will be phased in to eventually be 30 months (2.5 years). NSLS is encouraging anyone needing this type of Medicaid to apply by April 1, 2022 (even though this date is not set in stone). Applications after this date will most likely have an 18 month lookback. Every month the lookback period will increase by one month until it is 30 months in April 2023.  

Nassau Suffolk Law Services has several units dedicated to helping residents apply for Managed Long Term Care, appeal Medicaid denials, and set up Supplemental Needs Trusts to eliminate the Medicaid spend-down including our Public Benefits Unit, Mental Health Law Project, Nassau Senior Citizens Law Project, Adult Care Facility Project, ICAN, and HIV/AIDS Project. Suffolk residents can call 631-232-2400. Nassau residents can call 516-292-8100.

The New York Homeowner Assistance Fund (NYS HAF) is no longer accepting applications. However, applicants can put their name on a waiting list. The New York State Homeowner Assistance Fund is a federally funded program dedicated to assisting homeowners who are at risk of default, foreclosure, or displacement as a result of a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible as they are processed in the order in which they were received. To apply, go to or call 1-844-77-NYHAF (1-844-776-9423). Please see information below regarding our "Post Moratorium Foreclosure Options" training on March 31st.

If you are falling behind on your payments, contact your lender or mortgage servicer immediately. The servicer is not necessarily the bank you took a loan from; it’s the financial institution that sends your monthly mortgage bill. Tell them why you are unable to make payments, and that you would like to review your options around forbearance. The servicer may offer several of the following options:

  • Reinstatement — You repay the full amount of your deferred payments in one lump sum in the near future, and resume your regular mortgage payments.
  • Repayment — Your servicer would add the amount of your suspended payments onto your current monthly payment. This means that your monthly payments will increase until the balance has been paid.
  • Loan modification — Ask if your loan is eligible for reduced monthly payments. Your mortgage term would be longer, but your monthly payments would be lower.
  • Payment deferral — If you cannot resume regular payments, you may be able to defer missed payments. In this case, you would not pay the missed payments until the end of your loan term or when your home is sold or refinanced.
  • Extended loan term — Your servicer may agree to extend your loan term by spreading out your payments.

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.

Have you seen our new website? Check it out at As always, we have resources on a variety of legal topics including previous legal lessons and LSCA trainings. Please continue to check back over the next few months as we will be providing new downloadable fact sheets in both English and Spanish.
Post Moratorium Foreclosure Options

Thursday • March 31st • 1:00 pm- 2:00pm

The foreclosure moratorium is over. New York has closed new applications for the Housing Assistance Fund. What to do now? Nassau Suffolk Law Services Foreclosure Unit Staff Attorney Kathleen Maher will discuss 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.

Accessing Healthcare and Preventing Medical Debt

Thursday • April 28th • 1:00-2:30PM

In 2020, almost 18% of U.S. residents had medical debt in collections and in New York there were over 860,000 uninsured residents. Nassau Suffolk Law Services and the Health and Welfare Council will discuss 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.

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).
New Team Members:

  • Silvia Cellucci-Sepe, Assistant Bookkeeper, Finance Department, Islandia
  • Thonysha Desire, Pro Bono Scholar, Mental Health Law Project, Hempstead
  • Zachariah L. Parker, Pro Bono Scholar, Veterans Rights Project, Hempstead
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 volunteer intern positions. To find out more, go to our website.

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

Nassau County- (516) 292-8100
Suffolk County- (631) 232-2400

Looking forward to your help!

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

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