National Volunteer Week 2015

Navigator Volunteers Photo 2015 Edit

National Volunteer Week is April 12-18, 2015, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to recognize some of our current and recent volunteers who have helped us out in a variety of ways this year, like serving as volunteer Health Insurance Marketplace Navigators, volunteering as interpreter/translators for clients, helping our growing Safe Child Immigrant Project with administrative tasks and more! We are so thankful for our generous and dedicated volunteers! Below are some of the volunteers who have been a great help to us recently. From our entire LSSP staff, thank you to all of our volunteers!

Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator Volunteers

Kriss Anne Carlstrom

Emily Sigmon

Lori-Ann Green

Lauren Greth

Janet Hudson

Nicholas Loveluck

Fred Saxine

John Scherr

Mary Allen Watson

Immigrant Justice Program Volunteers

Daniela Jaramillo Aguirre

Luz Aveleyra

Karen Jimenez

Melissa Li Voti

Arthur Minasyan

Megan Mintac

Blanca Rivas

Volunteer Interpreter/Translators

Rosalinda Disch

Gelianny Esponda La Rosa

Aura Lawson-Alonso

Anita Matlock-Murphy

Yvonne Santiago

Monica Thomas

Michael Villalobos

 Pro Bono Program Volunteers

Chris Hsu

Anita Zarey




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2014 Pro Bono Honor Roll

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Our 2014 Pro Bono Honor Roll is up! Congratulations and thank you to all of our dedicated pro bono attorneys! Each of you has played a key role in helping LSSP and Legal Aid of North Carolina-Charlotte provide access to justice for people in need in our community.

View the Honor Roll here.

Learn how you can become involved in the Access to Justice Pro Bono Partners Program.


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Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service

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LSSP was honored to be a part of today’s Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service with the recognition of LSSP’s Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps justice Fellows at the event!

_MG_8329 copyMayor Dan Clodfelter spoke at the event, recognizing the AmeriCorps members in the Charlotte community: “Our city has benefited from your dedication. Share your work with others so that they come to know what you mean to Charlotte.”

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LSSP Safe Child Immigrant Project Fellow Atenas Burrola spoke at the event about the work of the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps justice Fellows in helping unaccompanied children as they move through the Charlotte Immigration Court.



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Justice for All Luncheon 2015

Justice For All event

View more photos from the event here.

Local legal aid nonprofits Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP) and Legal Aid of North Carolina-Charlotte (LANC) hosted their ninth annual Justice for All Luncheon March 12, 2015 at The Westin Charlotte with keynote speaker Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court  Mark Martin, chair of the N.C. Equal Access to Justice Commission, to highlight the need for and the work of ensuring access to justice for the Charlotte area’s low-income community.

More than 600 guests heard addresses by Martin and civil legal aid and local bar leaders, stressing the importance of serving low-income families and individuals whose basic human rights are threatened by their inability to pay for legal representation in civil legal matters. Attendees heard the stories of North Carolinians protected from violence, homelessness and chronic illness through the work of these organizations and their partners.

“Among the most pressing challenges facing our justice system today is the delivery of legal services to people of modest means,” Martin said at the event. “Unlike in criminal cases, there is no constitutional right to court-appointed counsel for indigent parties in civil cases. It is in these civil cases that legal aid programs play a vital role in providing legal services to individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford an attorney.”

LSSP’s legal work focuses on helping people in the Charlotte-area meet their basic human needs, ensuring that low-income children, families and the disabled have access to quality health care and benefits; preserving income and protecting financial stability of low-income families; and providing targeted legal assistance for people with special needs such as children, elderly and disabled persons, immigrants, veterans, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

LANC-Charlotte seeks to protect victims of domestic violence; help workers remove barriers to employment; preserve homes, automobiles and other essential properties that are subject to seizure and sale; and help tenants prevent homelessness by preventing unlawful evictions and helping them get necessary repairs for safe and habitable housing.

Sponsors for the event were Bank of America, Duke Energy and Hunton & Williams LLP.

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Free income tax preparation



It’s once again time to file your annual income tax return. However, don’t pay to have your taxes prepared – go to a VITA site instead! The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs provide FREE  income tax preparation for individuals and families who make less than $53,000 per year. These sites operate between February and mid-April at sites all over North Carolina. Inside this brochure is a list of sites that may be near you. If you do not live near any of these sites, call 1-800-906-9887 for a site closer to you.

Most sites also offer FREE electronic filing allowing you to get your refund within a few days to a few weeks. Don’t spend hundreds of dollars in fees for filing your tax return or getting an “instant refund” through a refund anticipation loan offered by many private tax preparation sites. Visit a VITA site and take advantage of their free services.

Even if you are not required to file a tax return, you should consider doing so. You may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit* or the Child Tax Credit, each of which could be worth thousands of dollars this year!

Learn more about local VITA sites in Mecklenburg Couty and the surrounding counties below.

* You do NOT have to have children to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

VITA Sites Brochure 20152Page 2 VITA flyer double sided - Community Link-1

Page 2 VITA flyer double sided - Community Link-2

Flyers courtesy of Community Link.


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Save the Date for the Justice for All Luncheon

JFA 2015 Save the Date (web)

Please join us at the
2015 Justice for All Luncheon
as we share our story of providing justice for those in need in our community on
Thursday, March 12th, from 12 – 1 p.m. at The Westin Hotel with
keynote speaker The Honorable Mark Martin, Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court and Chair of the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission.

Register to attend.

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IRS Free File


If you earned $60,000 or less last year, you can file your taxes for free using a brand-name tax software through IRS Free File. If you earned more than $60,000, you can use the Free File Fillable Forms on their website. Learn more about how to file for free at

Here are some tips about IRS Free File:

  1. Go to  The only way to use IRS Free File is through the IRS website. Once you choose a Free File company, you’ll go to their website to prepare and e-file your federal tax return.
  2. Find tax breaks. The question and answer format of tax software will help you find tax breaks. This could include tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The software selects the appropriate tax forms and does the calculations for you. Free File can help with the new health care law tax provisions as well.
  3. Free for all. If you made $60,000 or less you can use brand-name software. If you earned more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms. This option uses electronic versions of IRS paper forms. It is best for people who are used to doing their own taxes.
  4. Easy online extensions.  If you can’t finish your tax return by the April 15 deadline, it’s easy to use Free File to ask for a six-month extension. An extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. If you owe federal taxes, you need to estimate the amount and pay it with your request to avoid penalties and interest.

The IRS partners with 14 leading tax software companies, the Free File Alliance, to make this service available. Some companies offer free federal and free state returns. Choose your option on

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2014 LSSP Community Impact Report

See what your support helped us do
for people in need in 2014!

2014 Impact Report Full

2014 was a great year at Legal Services of Southern Piedmont! With your support, we were able to help more clients than ever this year and respond to emergency issues affecting the most vulnerable in the Mecklenburg County area. With the recent launch of our Safe Child Immigrant Project and the expansion of our Carolinas Medical-Legal Partnership and Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator Project, we’re now able to better address the legal needs of immigrant children escaping abuse and local families struggling to access critical health care. Thank you to our supporters, partners, donors, volunteers and funders for making our work for those in need possible in 2014 and beyond.

Kenneth Schorr
LSSP Executive Director

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LS Settlement



United States District Court – Eastern District of North Carolina
Case No.: 5:11-CV-354


L.S. et al. v. Wos et al. is a federal lawsuit filed in July 2011. In 2012, this case was certified by the Court as a class action lawsuit on behalf of certain participants in the N.C. Innovations Waiver.

In this lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the Defendants have not provided sufficient notices and hearing rights regarding Innovations Waiver services as required by the federal Medicaid statute and by the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Defendants deny those allegations.

The lawyers representing the parties have reached a Settlement Agreement to settle the lawsuit. In reaching the Settlement Agreement, neither Defendant is admitting any wrongdoing, but the parties all wish to avoid further litigation while clarifying the due process rights for all N.C. Innovations Waiver participants. The Court plans to approve the Settlement Agreement unless a good reason is given not to do so. If the Settlement Agreement is approved by the Court, it will apply to all participants in the N.C. Innovations Waiver. The Settlement Agreement includes detailed description of the steps that will be taken to:

  • Ensure that Innovations Waiver participants are empowered to request the services they want to request, in the amount and for the length of time they want to request them;
  • Clarify that the Support Needs Matrix will be used as a guideline and not as a binding limit for certain N.C. Innovations services;
  • Clarify and explain the due process rights of N.C. Innovations Waiver participants;
  • Inform N.C. Innovations Waiver participants of their rights and responsibilities under the Waiver.

RIGHT TO OBJECT: Any class member has the right to object to this proposed Settlement Agreement. However, no class member has the right to exclude himself or herself from being bound by the settlement if it is approved by the court.

You may review the proposed Settlement Agreement here or by visiting the Civil Clerk’s office, US Courthouse, 413 Middle Street, New Bern, NC, 28560. The entire Settlement Agreement is also available at all of the following websites:;;

You may file written objections to the dismissal by mailing your reasons for objection to the Clerk of Court at the above address no later than March 11, 2015. If you wish to file evidence to support your objections, you must file the evidence in writing by that date.

You also have the right to object to the Settlement Agreement in person at a hearing that will be held at 1:30 p.m. o’clock on April 6, 2015. The hearing will take place in Courtroom, US Courthouse, 413 Middle Street, New Bern, NC, 28560.

To ask questions of plaintiffs’ attorneys about the case or the procedure for objecting to the dismissal, call toll free 1-877-235-4210 or write to John Rittelmeyer or Jennifer Bills, Attorneys at Law, Disability Rights N.C., 3724 National Dr. Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27612.

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Celebrate #GivingTuesday with LSSP and LANC today!

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large squareAfter the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes a holiday to celebrate giving back; #GivingTuesday is a special day in the holiday season to celebrate giving in your community. LSSP is proud to partner with #GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesdayCLT to provide a way for you, your family, your community or your organization to come together to give something more.

When you give to the Access to Justice Campaign today for #GivingTuesdayCLT, a portion of your gift will be matched thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Knight Foundation and a partnership with SHARE Charlotte.

Today, we ask Charlotte and beyond to consider giving justice. Give to the Access to Justice Campaign and support those in need in our community, like domestic violence survivors in search of safety, disabled children in need of medical care or families in danger of homelessness. This year, you can give them security, safety and relief by giving the gift of justice.

Get involved

– Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to help us spread the word about #GivingTuesdayCLT.

– Share your best #unselfie with us and tell us why you’re giving (see some examples from last year).

Donate today to Legal Services of Southern Piedmont and Legal Aid of North Carolina to have a portion of your gift doubled.

Make a secure donation at

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