Sun, Nov 29, 2015


Legal Aid Society Fighting for Low-Income Individuals in Murfreesboro

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Every day in Murfreesboro, the Legal Aid Society actively fights for low-income individuals and families in the community to help them seek equal access to justice. In fact, in 2011, Legal Aid Society provided nearly $14 million in FREE legal services in the 5,824 cases it handled. 
Located at 526 N. Walnut St, the Legal Aid Society Murfreesboro office has legal experts who provide legal representation, advice and community education seminars on a variety of topics that a typical person might face such as:
  • Family law/domestic violence
  • Consumer law/bankruptcy
  • Disability rights
  • Elder law
  • Employment/Family & Family Medical Leave Acts
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Food Stamps and Families First
  • Housing
  • Immigration
  • Medicare, Medicaid, TennCare
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment 
  • Veterans Assistance and more
Here are just a few Murfreesboro residents that have experienced the wonderful work of Legal Aid (names have been changed to protect client's anonymity):
“Jennifer”was a young, pregnant mother whose unborn child was battling PKU, a rare condition which prevents the body from breaking down an amino acid. Left untreated, the condition can cause severe mental retardation, brain damage and seizures in the unborn child.  TennCare provided Jennifer a low protein formula for her unborn child’s development. Jennifer’s doctor stated that this formula was insufficient for her to gain the 35 pounds he felt she needed for this pregnancy. When Jennifer came to Legal Aid, she was 124 pounds and seven months into her pregnancy. Jennifer had faced this problem before in previous pregnancies. One such pregnancy caused her baby to die from heart failure, two weeks after delivery, which stemmed from this condition. Jennifer, and a dietician assisting her, asked TennCare to provide her low protein foods. TennCare denied this request because low protein foods were not “covered” under the program for a person over the age of 21. Jennifer and her dietician went to a hearing and fought to get the foods. The dietician contacted a Legal Aid Attorney to help prepare a brief after the trial. The Legal Aid Attorney submitted a brief, and the TennCare lawyer opposing him did as well. The Administrative Law Judge ruled in favor of Jennifer getting the low-protein foods. After working with her dietician and getting help from Legal Aid, Jennifer received the foods and her pregnancy weight rose to 182 pounds! She has now given birth to a healthy baby girl.  Although her daughter is being monitored by Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, she is showing strong signs for being able to live a life without PKU. 
“Sharonda,” lived with her husband and children. One day Sharonda’s husband sexually assaulted her child from a previous relationship.  Sharonda called law enforcement and her husband was arrested. To make matters worse, Sharonda was terminated from her job during this time. Sharonda came to Legal Aid for help. First, Legal Aid directed Sharonda to the Guidance Center for counseling services for her and her daughter who was assaulted. Legal Aid successfully assisted Sharonda in her unemployment case and helped her get the benefits she needed to get back on her feet. Legal Aid also helped Sharonda get an Order of Protection for herself and her daughter. Finally, Legal Aid helped Sharonda get a divorce from her husband who had caused so much pain in her life. Sharonda and her family are doing better day by day.

“Tom,” a senior with a hearing disability, was living by himself. He only received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in the amount of $643 per month to help him get by. Tom was being harassed by a creditor for a debt in which he put up his car for collateral. For months, through harassing calls and personal visits, the creditor convinced Tom to give up part of his SSI check as opposed to just taking the vehicle back.  During a visit to the Cannon County Senior Center, Tom met with the Legal Aid Attorney who gave the presentation.  Legal Aid Society took Tom’s case. The Legal Aid Attorney researched the law and wrote a letter to Tom’s creditor directing him not to communicate with Tom any longer either by phone or in person. The Legal Aid Attorney further explained to the creditor how SSI is exempt by federal statute from garnishment, levy or judgment. Tom is no longer being harassed or bothered by the creditor and is using his whole check for his own good.

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