NSLS Programs – Nassau Suffolk Law Services

NSLS Programs

Adult Care Facility Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100
Suffolk: 631-232-2400

The Adult Care Facility Project is a bi-county unit representing adult care facility residents in various matters. The Adult Care Facility Project Unit’s mission is to promote and protect the rights of adult care facility residents in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and help adult home residents understand and enforce their rights.

The Adult Care Project attorney provides legal representation, home visits, conducts trainings for Residents and advocate groups, and provides advice to residents by phone and in-person on matters relating to evictions, finances, public benefits, medical coverage, living conditions in facilities, resident rights, advanced directives, and a variety of other legal issues.

The Project handles resident’s rights issues without regard to the resident’s income. It prioritizes clients below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines for other services.

Civil Unit - Nassau County

Nassau: 516-292-8100

Nassau Civil Unit assists low-income tenants in summary eviction proceedings, in administrative hearings challenging termination or denial of participation in the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program, and in grievance hearings contesting proposed terminations from public housing. We will consider bringing affirmative litigation in State Supreme or Federal District Court to assert rights under the United States Housing Act of 1937, the Fair Housing Act, NY State Human Rights Law, and other Civil Rights statutes. We work in conjunction and cooperation with our in-court Volunteer Lawyer’s Project.
Community Legal Help Project
The Community Legal Help Project (CLHP) is a partnership of legal services providers created by the NYS Permanent Commission on Access to Justice and the Suffolk County Access to Justice Committee.  The CLHP’s network of non-profit partners and pro bono volunteers currently provides legal information and referrals, and limited-scope representation through a phone line and brief in-person consultations at public libraries.
Suffolk County residents can call (631) 822-3272.
Consumer Debt Legal Assistance Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100
Suffolk: 631-232-2400

The Consumer Debt Legal Assistance Project provides legal assistance to persons who are experiencing consumer debt problems, especially in the matters of medical and credit card debt.

Services may include litigation defense and representation, phone advice, and/or referral for further services, including bankruptcy where appropriate.

Disability Advocacy Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100

Suffolk: 631-232-2400

The 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.

Domestic Violence Project

Domestic Violence Project
Suffolk: 631-232-2400

The Domestic Violence Project provides legal representation to victims of domestic violence in Suffolk County relating to family law matters, including obtaining orders of protection and custody. If you would like to obtain legal representation from Nassau Suffolk Law Services you will need to go through one of our advocacy agencies. For the fastest referrals, please contact Brighter Tomorrows at (631)395-1800 or, if you are on the East End of Long Island, The Retreat at (631) 329-2200. Both hotlines are available 24 hours a day.

Brighter Tomorrows https://brightertomorrowsinc.org/
The Retreat http://allagainstabuse.org/

Family Law Unit

Suffolk County:
631-232-2400

The Family Law Unit represents non-custodial parents in child support downward modifications and add-ons for arrears.  Clients must reside in Suffolk County and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Education and Disability Rights Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100
Suffolk: 631-232-2400

The 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).

Click here to download our brochure.

Foreclosure Prevention Unit

Foreclosure Prevention Unit
Nassau: 516-292-8100
Suffolk: 631-232-2400

Assists homeowners to prevent foreclosure, through loss mitigation options and/or legal challenges.

  • Services provided include:
  • Advice and counsel
  • Limited assistance at settlement conferences
  • Pro-se pleadings and motions
  • Full representation, and possible appeals, help with loan modification paperwork

The Project is part of the HOPP network, a Statewide coalition that includes HUD-certified housing counseling agencies. As such, we will make referrals to and collaborate with HOPP funded, non-profit housing counseling agencies.
Clients must reside in the homes subject to foreclosure and have income is within the range of 80% of the median income for Long Island set annually by HUD.

HIV/AIDS Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100

Suffolk: 631-232-2400

Assists HIV+ individuals and those living with AIDS and their families with legal issues affecting:

  • Public benefits

  • Housing

  • Healthcare

  • Planning for the future through wills, guardianships, and advance directives for medical treatment.

In addition to legal services, the HIV/AIDS Project provides a range of support services by a social worker to HIV-affected families with minor children in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

We help families make future care and custody decisions, assist with the process of disclosure, and help with issues faced by new caregivers.

We also make referrals and linkages to other needed services.

Independent Consumer Advocacy Network

Nassau and Suffolk: 631-822-3290

The Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN) is a program of Community Service Society of New York, a non-profit organization in New York City, and is funded by the State of New York. Nassau Suffolk Law Services receives funding through the Community Service Society of New York to participate in ICAN.

The ICAN unit assists consumers in both Nassau and Suffolk counties with:

  • NYS Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC);
  • Health and Recovery Plan (HARP) program;
  • Long-Term Support Services (LTSS) in Mainstream Managed Care (MMC) programs;
  • Transitioning into MLTC plan;
  • FIDA-IDD Plans

What we can do:

  • Provide education to stakeholder groups;
  • Provide information and advice to participants, caregivers, and their advocates;
  • Provide navigational assistance;
  • Provide advocacy when needed.

Click here to download our brochure.

Want to learn about Medicaid Managed Long-Term Care for Families? Watch our most recent training here.

Legal Support Center for Advocates

LSCA has a unique role at Law Services as a legal back-up center for advocates from social service agencies, religious organizations, health care facilities and other community-based agencies.

The Center’s Helpline provides phone support to community advocates so they may effectively assist their clients in welfare, housing, access to health care, disability issues, and other legal matters. This partnership with the community is especially valuable as it enables us to exponentially serve more clients than would be possible with our limited resources for direct legal services. When appropriate, the Center facilitates referrals to one of Law Services many programs.

Law Services’ LSCA also publishes an educational newsletter and an e-news service, Legal Lessons. Subscribe here.

LSCA hosts many successful seminars, meetings and training events each year. Our legal courses help your team become better advocates while navigating various legal issues with clients.

Topics for trainings include:
-Family Law
-Landlord Tenant
-Social Security
-Utilities
-Emergency benefits
-Consumer Debt
-Medicaid/Health Law
-Foreclosure Prevention
-Mental Health Law
-Disability Rights
-Senior Citizens Law
-Veterans Rights Law
-Welfare Law/Public benefits

LSCA is a proud partner of United Way of Long Island.

Mental Health Law Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100

Suffolk: 631-232-2400

The Mental Health Law Project is designed to provide legal assistance in civil matters to persons who are severely and persistently mentally ill.

This project focuses primarily on issues relating to basic necessities of life, such as housing, public benefits, access to health care and child support.

Clients must be at least 18 years of age and functionally disabled by a severe and persistent mental illness. Behavioral problems resulting from ​developmental disability, head injury, stroke, epilepsy or other organic dysfunction do not qualify.

Client must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Receives SSI or SSD based upon a psychiatric diagnosis of severe mental illness;
  • Has been an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital at least twice within the past 2 years;
  • Has been seen in an emergency room for psychiatric problems at least three times in the past 18 months (however, only one visit is countable in each 3-month period);
  • Has been an inpatient in a psychiatric hospital for six consecutive months at any time in his or her life; or
  • Has been residing in a community residence or supported housing for the mentally ill for six consecutive months.
Public Benefits Unit

Nassau: 516-292-8100
Suffolk (Islandia): 631-232-2400
Suffolk (Riverhead): 631-369-1112

We are skilled poverty law advocates, and our focus is on supporting the integrity, safety, and well-being of low-income families by maintain economic stability.

With over 168,000 (6.6% of the population) of Long Islanders living in poverty according to the 2010 census, and more than 75,000 struggling on incomes under half of the federal poverty limit, the Public Benefits Unit opened almost 1,500 new cases in 2016 alone.

The Public Benefits Unit provides legal assistance to persons who experience problems with public benefits programs which are administered by the local Departments of Social Services, including:

  • Welfare (TANF and Safety Net)
  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps (SNAP)
  • Child Care Assistance
  • HEAP
  • Emergency shelter for the homeless
  • Unemployment insurance appeals and overpayments
  • Other emergency assistance programs

We also assist low-income households in establishing Supplemental Needs Trusts to eliminate the Medicaid spend-down and assist homeless families to obtain rent supplements from DSS to enable families to leave the shelters or retain permanent housing.

Reentry Unit

Nassau: 516-292-8100
Suffolk: 631-232-2400

The Reentry Unit helps people to reintegrate into the community after facing criminal charges by helping them to address criminal history-related civil legal issues.

Examples of cases the Reentry Unit will consider include:

  • Employment discrimination;
  • Section 8 Problems;
  • Certificates of relief from civil disability/certificates of good conduct;
  • Denial of professional license; and
  • Denial of employment due to prior neglect/abuse findings (at the ALJ level).

Click here to download our brochure.

Senior Citizen Law Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100

The Senior Citizen Law Project provides legal representation, advice and referrals to Nassau County seniors in matters involving housing, health care and social security. The Project also assists with wills, power of attorney and health care proxy forms, pooled trusts, Medicaid planning, consumer debt and utility shut-offs.

With specific funding from the Nassau County Office for the Aging, the Project assists Nassau County seniors age 60 and older who have a legal issue which meets our priority guidelines.

Telephone consultations assist clients with problem analysis, information and referral. Individual cases are accepted for representation after case evaluation. Special visits can be arranged for those who are homebound, in-hospital or nursing home residents.

In addition to the “Helpline” and legal representation, the Project collaborates with Senior Citizen social agencies, provides training, and participates in community information events that target seniors.

Click here to download our brochure.

Social Work Unit

Nassau: 516-292-8100
Suffolk: 631-232-2400

Social workers have been an integral part of Law Services throughout its history. Our social workers help our most vulnerable clients complete tasks necessary for successful outcomes to their legal cases and address social issues that may be impeding the resolution of their legal issues. Some examples of what our social workers can do are:

  • Provide technical assistance to community providers when appropriate
  • Provide crisis intervention
  • Provide benefits advocacy
  • Assist when a client needs help coordinating and advocating with various agencies or programs
  • Assist when a client needs help obtaining financial help for rent arrears or utility arrears when there is good cause for obtaining such financial help
  • Provide short-term counseling aimed at lending support through the course of the legal process.
  • Provide support to those clients that require more attention throughout the legal process
  • Act as a resource and support to agency staff
  • Our social workers also provide family stabilization support services to HIV-affected families with minor children.

For social work assistance please speak with the Director of Social Work or a staff social worker and let us assess on a case-by-case basis.

Suffolk Civil Unit

Suffolk: 631-232-2400
The Suffolk Civil Unit provides legal assistance to low-income persons with housing issues, including eviction proceedings, Section 8 termination hearings, and appellate work with respect thereto. The unit also brings affirmative litigation with respect to violations of state or federal law on a limited basis. The Islandia office represents clients residing in the towns of Babylon, Smithtown, Brookhaven, Islip, and Huntington. The Riverhead office represents clients residing in Riverhead and all the East End towns.

Suffolk Pro Bono Project

Suffolk: 631-232-2400 x.3315

The Suffolk Pro Bono Project provides pro bono attorney referrals for representation and other legal assistance to low-income clients. Pro Bono Project matters usually involve bankruptcy (Chapter 7) or divorce, although other cases are considered including child support for both petitioners and respondents. Due to the great demand for divorce representation, defendants and victims of domestic violence are given priority. However, we cannot guarantee that everyone will be placed with an attorney. Plaintiffs in divorce cases are considered according to availability of pro bono attorneys. Applicants should please call (631) 232-2400, extension 3315.

17A Guardianships: Pro bono attorneys are available to assist clients in completing petitions and gathering documents to obtain guardianship of developmentally disabled young adult children transitioning to adulthood (18 years old).

Anyone interested in volunteering for these projects is urged to Register Here! Thank you for your interest.

Click here to download our brochure.

Veterans' Rights Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100
Suffolk: 631-232-2400

The Veterans Rights Project provides legal assistance to low-income United States military veterans.

Legal services include assistance with various issues including veteran’s benefits and appeals, discharges, upgrades, public benefits, landlord-tenant matters, consumer debt issues, select social security appeals, and family law matters.

The family law matter assistance provided focuses on child support and excludes divorces, custody, and visitation.

The Veterans Rights Project staff attorneys participate in community outreach such as tabling at VA Stand Downs and Job Assistance Fairs and at Veterans legal advice clinics.
Click here to download our brochure.

Volunteer Lawyers' Project

Nassau: 516-292-8100

The Volunteer Lawyers’ Project provides pro bono attorney referrals for representation to low-income clients. Pro Bono Project matters usually involve bankruptcy (Chapter 7) or divorce, although other cases are considered.

Due to the great demand for divorce representation, defendants and victims of domestic violence are given priority and often receive an attorney referral within a couple of months. However, we cannot guarantee that everyone will be found an attorney. Plaintiffs in divorce cases are considered according to availability of pro bono attorneys.

The Attorney of the Day Project in District Court, Nassau County, represents tenants with the assistance of volunteer attorneys.

17A Guardianships: Pro-bono attorneys are available to help clients fill out petitions and gather the necessary documents to obtain guardianships for young adults with developmental disabilities who are reaching the age of majority (18 years).

The Advance Directive Initiative helps eligible clients execute planning documents including basic wills, healthcare proxies and powers of attorney.

Click here to download our brochure.