AABANY Offers Application Aid to LEP Applicants Seeking Section 8 Housing and Emergency Rental Assistance

volunteer assisting with application

AABANY announced on May 28, 2021, that through the Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee, Government Service & Public Interest (GSPI) Committee and the Student Outreach Committee (SOC), it established a phone line to aid limited English proficient (LEP) applicants in applying for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, also known as Section 8. Section 8 is a government rental housing program that allows low-income families, the elderly and disabled to rent privately-owned and safe housing. Applicants will be selected by the New York State Homes & Community Renewal (NYSHCR) agency’s Section 8 Voucher Waitlist Lottery. The deadline for application is May 28, 11:59 AM ET. As for ERAP, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is offering a program that provides rental and utility assistance to eligible New York residents who owe arrears. Households will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available.

When applying for housing and aid, many LEP applicants have had difficulty finding language assistance. AABANY hopes to help LEP applicants who do not have electronic access in completing the application by telephone. Interested applicants may contact (929) 251-3022 or probono@aabany.org to schedule a time with an AABANY volunteer to receive aid in contacting HCR and the OTDA.

To view AABANY’s flyer about the Section 8 Waitlist Lottery, click on the image above.

To read more about AABANY’s efforts to aid the Chinese LEP community, click here.

Pro Bono & Community Service Committee Hosts Elder Law Clinic and Presentation

On May 4, AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service Committee (PBCS) hosted a virtual law clinic and presentation on elder law as a part of the Virtual Community Presentation Series. The event was co-sponsored by AABANY, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of New York.

In light of the instability brought about by the pandemic, the new changes to the Medicaid laws, and the surge in anti-Asian violence, Committee Vice-Chair May Wong moderated the event to address the questions and concerns of the Chinese community, as well as to provide free legal consultations on these topics. May was joined by Karen Eng, specializing in estate planning, administration, elder law, Article 81 guardianship, and residential real estate at Thomas J. Manzi, P.C., and Pauline Yeung-Ha, Partner at Grimaldi & Yeung, LLP specializing in trusts, wills and estates, elder law, and special needs planning. Also present were Co-Chairs Judy Lee, Karen Lin, and Kwok Ng.

Karen Eng presented information on advance directives, wills, and trusts, while Pauline spoke on the new Medicaid changes and the effects the changes would have on individual healthcare. Both Karen Eng and Pauline emphasized the importance of advance preparation in matters of healthcare and estate planning. Kwok translated the speakers consecutively into Cantonese and Mandarin and also presented information on hate crimes and resources for reporting incidents. 31 individuals attended the event. At the presentation’s end, PBCS, along with Karen Eng and Pauline, opened the virtual free services clinic for two client consultations. The CCBA provided their physical headquarters for the two clients to meet remotely with the attorneys.

The PCBS Committee thanks Karen Eng and Pauline Yeung-Ha for offering their expertise in elder law to give back to the Chinese community. PBCS would also like to thank Annalee Patel, Bei Yang, Chao-Yung Chiu, Jian Cui, Julie Choe, Kelly Tang, and Xinyi Shen for their help and support in organizing the event. AABANY would also like to thank the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the New York Chinese Chamber of Commerce for co-sponsoring this event. To watch the presentation, click here. To learn more about the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee and its work, click here and click here.

Apply for Supplemental Security Income: A Message from the Social Security Administration

If you have limited income and resources (things you own), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be able to help. SSI financing comes from general revenues, not Social Security taxes.

SSI makes monthly payments to people who are age 65 or older or who are blind or disabled. They don’t count some of your income and some of your resources when they decide whether you’re eligible for SSI. Your house and your car, for example, usually don’t count as resources.

To apply for SSI, you can begin the process and — in some cases — complete most or all of your application online by visiting their website at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefits.  

You can also call them toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 to set up a telephone appointment with a representative from your local Social Security office. To contact your local Social Security office directly, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/locator, select Locate An Office By Zip, enter your five digit ZIP Code, and select Locate.  Your local Social Security office’s local toll-free number will be displayed.  

For more information about SSI, please review:

Understanding the Benefits (EN-05-10024)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Non-Citizens (EN-05-11051)

For further inquiries, please contact:
Everett M. Lo
Social Security Administration – Regional Public Affairs Office
26 Federal Plaza, Room 40-120, New York, NY  10278
everett.lo@ssa.gov

NAPABA Denounces the SECURE CAMPUS Act

For Immediate Release: June 12, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director
Email: ppurandare@napaba.org

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) denounces the introduction of the SECURE CAMPUS Act. The bill introduced by Senator Tom Cotton and Senator Marsha Blackburn, along with a companion bill introduced by Congressman David Kustoff, will prohibit Chinese STEM graduate students from receiving a visa to study in the United States under the presumption that all Chinese STEM students engage in espionage.

“Asian Pacific Americans have faced a long history of discrimination and exclusion in the United States. This includes the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese American Incarceration, the post-9/11 racial profiling of Arabs, Sikhs, Muslims and South Asians, and the targeting of Asian American scientists,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, President of NAPABA. “The SECURE CAMPUS Act uses xenophobic vitriol to divide our country, and by extension, further incites fear and hatred toward Asian Pacific Americans. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Anti-Asian sentiment is at an all-time high. We must continue to strongly denounce racist rhetoric.”

The bill seeks to exclude Chinese graduate students from attending STEM programs in the U.S. and to block federal funding from any institution that has participation from these students. “Graduate students from China and other countries have come to the United States for educational opportunities for decades. They have made substantial contributions to our society and have become U.S. citizens,” said Wolf. “At least 10 Nobel Prize winners in STEM fields and over a dozen astronauts are Asian Pacific Americans who are immigrants or are the children of immigrants.”

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

Department of Health Releases NY Foward Safety Plan Template in Chinese, Korean, and Bengali

On June 8, 2020, Phase 1 businesses, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail, and wholesale trade, are permitted to reopen in NYC. The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) has outlined the relevant sick leave laws for both employers and employees returning to work during this time. The City also offers various resources for those impacted by COVID-19: free COVID-19 testing, a COVID-19 Hotel Program for those who cannot isolate at home, free or low-cost health care, and NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline.

The Department of Health has also released NY Forward Safety Plan Templates for businesses that are re-opening. The templates are available in English, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali.

The Department of Health recommends that employers conduct daily employee health screenings; provide workers with free face coverings; maintain hand hygiene stations; regularly clean shared equipment and frequently touched surfaces; and post signs and markers to show people where to stand.

To access the templates, see below.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Releases 5/13/2020 Weekly COVID-19 Resources

Please note the following summary and resource of COVID-19 updates as of May 13th, 2020, released by the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

  1. Anti COVID-19 Stigma
  2. Education
  3. Food Resource
  4. Small Business
  5. Health + COVID-19 Testing
  6. Benefits
  7. Jobs
  8. DACA
  9. Others

Read more about the resources in English and Chinese here.

In addition, please note the following events hosted by the NYC Commission on Human Rights. The Mandarin Language Bystander Intervention Training: Responding to COVID-19 Scapegoating and Hate on Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00 PM and Wednesday, May 27 at 3:00 PM.

Please contact Xiaomin Zhao at (646) 306-9287 or via email at xzhao@cityhall.nyc.gov if you have questions.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Releases 5/5/2020 Weekly COVID-19 Resources

New York State on PAUSE is extended through 5/15. Non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home until at least 5/15.

Please note the following summary and resource of COVID-19 updates as of May 5th, 2020, released by the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

  1. Anti COVID-19 Stigma
  2. Education
  3. Food Resource
  4. Small Business
  5. Health + COVID-19 Testing
  6. Benefits
  7. Jobs
  8. DACA
  9. Others

Read more about the resources in English and Chinese here. Please contact Xiaomin Zhao at (646) 306-9287 or via email at xzhao@cityhall.nyc.gov if you have questions.

Legal Services NYC COVID-19 Resources for Clients

Legal Services NYC has compiled an extensive COVID-19 Resources Guide for its clients. The resource guide includes, but is not limited to, updates on the local, state, and federal court systems; public benefits and unemployment insurance resources; and information on how to continue to access our services. It is continuously being updated and is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Legal Services NYC Resources: https://www.legalservicesnyc.org/what-we-do/covid-resources

Legal Services NYC’s Access Line is OPEN and the organization continues to serve clients and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Legal Services NYC’s physical offices are closed as of March 17, 2020, the organization’s dedicated staff are working remotely on behalf of new and existing clients.

Current clients should contact their advocate’s office or extension for more information about their cases.

If you are seeking legal assistance on a new matter, you can call the Legal Services NYC legal assistance hotline at 917-661-4500, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Staff can take calls in any language.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Releases 4/19/2020 Weekly COVID-19 Resource

Please note the following summary and resource of COVID-19 updates as of April 19, 2020, released by the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

  1. Anti COVID-19 Stigma
  2. Education
  3. Food Resource
  4. Small Business
  5. Health + COVID-19 Testing
  6. Benefits
  7. Jobs
  8. DACA
  9. How to help NYC
  10. Others

Read more about the resources in English and Chinese here. Please contact Xiaomin Zhao at (646) 306-9287 or via email at xzhao@cityhall.nyc.gov if you have questions.

CPC CARES Act Info Sheet

On March 26th, 2020, the Federal Administration passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act with the interests of minority groups, immigrants, and low-income community members in mind. The Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) policy team has created an easily accessible info sheet on the CARES Act in English and Chinese (simplified and traditional). Thanks again to CPC for providing these information sheets and advancing the interests of not only Asian-Americans but all who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Download the fact sheets in the following languages:

English- CARES Act Federal Stimulus Package FAQ

Traditional Chinese- CARES 法案: 聯邦政府經濟刺激⽅案

Simplified Chinese- CARES 法案: 联邦政府经济刺激⽅案