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Legal Aid Society helps distressed woman regain Medicaid access

Middle Tennessee family wrongfully terminated

Mrs. Monroe [not her real name], was already having difficulty when she lost her job and was supporting her family on unemployment insurance. Then she was notified the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) was terminating her family’s Medicaid benefits, the family’s only source of medical care. She called the Legal Aid Society office in Nashville. Attorney Russ Overby researched the situation and found that DHS was relying on a rescinded policy that made it unreasonably difficult for families with unemployment benefits to qualify for Medicaid, even when their income was below the eligibility limit.

Overby wrote DHS and pointed out that its policy violated federal Medicaid law. DHS reviewed the law and their policy and agreed. It restored health benefits to Mrs. Monroe’s family. It also agreed to change its policy. Tennessee now treats unemployment insurance as any other source of income when it determines eligibility for both Medicaid and Families First. As a result, hundreds of low-wage Tennessee workers now have a much fairer chance to critical health and income benefits for their families.

Clarksville Is Fortunate

This story illustrates just one example of the kind of assistance which the Legal Aid Society makes available to qualifying clients. Clarksville is fortunate to have an office conveniently located downtown at 120 Franklin Street. Attorney Pat Mock is the managing attorney of the Clarksville Office. In addition to Medicaid/Medicare access issues, assistance is also available in instances of housing discrimination- including renters rights protection, domestic and/or spousal abuse, elder guardianship, child support and abuse, wage garnishment, school fee waivers, to name a few. In addition to Montgomery County, the Clarksville Legal Aid Society Office also serves the Stewart, Robertson and Chetham County areas.

The Legal Aid Society is a non-profit organization and is not government-funded. The Clarksville Office is part of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands and the Legal Services Corporation. Contact the Clarksville Legal Aid Society at 931-552-6656.


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