Skip to main content

Newsroom

Keep up with how Legal Aid of Arkansas fights poverty, assures justice, and maintains dignity in communities across Arkansas! 

Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest blog posts and news updates.


“We’re auditing you, and it could be for X, Y, or Z,” Jennifer Gardiner, director of the low income taxpayer clinic at Legal Aid of Arkansas, said of the IRS notification letters. “And you go, ‘Well, which one is it?’”

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled the Department of Commerce's Division of Workforce Services must turn over information about how it determined eligibility for pandemic-related unemployment to a nonprofit.

Legal Aid Arkansas said many of its clients had trouble qualifying and receiving unemployment during the pandemic. The nonprofit filed a Freedom of Information Act request with DWS in Oct. 2020, according to the Supreme Court's ruling.

On June 9th, 2022  the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a decision ordering the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services to provide information relating to an algorithm it implemented during the pandemic to process unemployment claims. Legal Aid of Arkansas learned that the agency implemented an algorithm leading to thousands of claims being wrongfully flagged, leading to delays as long as six months to over one year for benefits. We sought information about this algorithm through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but the state withheld the algorithm, claiming that it was exempt from FOIA. The Arkansas Supreme Court agreed that the information was subject to FOIA and must be provided. This decision is important because it helps ensure transparency in how algorithms and other technology are utilized in vital social safety net programs. 

Find updates on this case here! https://arlegalaid.org/what-we-do/advocacy-work/division-of-workforce-services-case.html

The Arkansas Supreme Court today upheld a lower court ruling that the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services had not complied with the Freedom of Information Act in a request for information from Legal Aid of Arkansas about applications for unemployment assistance and means used to ferret out fraudulent claims.

Baroni will be hosted by Legal Aid of Arkansas, where she will join "Beyond Opioids—Breaking Legal Barriers for Families in Recovery," a collaborative project among legal aid programs in Arkansas that supports people impacted by the opioid crisis and other substance use disorders at the host organization. She will be based in Newport, Arkansas.

Low-income Americans are finding it difficult to afford legal representation in urgent civil matters, even more so during the pandemic, says Ronald S. Flagg, president of nonprofit Legal Services Corp., which funds organizations that provide legal aid to those unable to pay for it. Citing an LSC study on the “justice gap,” he urges Congress to provide more funding, and lawyers and law firms to provide more pro bono services, to low-income people.

As a fellow, he will be hosted by the Legal Aid of Arkansas where he will work to stop Black land loss and create generational wealth in the Mississippi Delta by resolving heirs' property, educating communities and connecting landowners with funding opportunities.

For people interested in the lawsuit about the state's early termination of federal unemployment benefits, there's big news out from the Arkansas Supreme Court. The good news is that the lawsuit can continue, so it is still possible that people could receive benefits in the future. But, that is not guaranteed. And, nobody will be receiving benefits in the short-term future. Full explanation here:

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled today that the lawsuit filed by five plaintiffs represented by Legal Aid of Arkansas to obtain federal unemployment benefits for about 70,000 Arkansans can continue, but it declined to order the state to resume those benefits now. In July 2021, Judge Herbert Wright of the Pulaski County Circuit Court had ordered the state to resume those benefits if the federal government would allow it to do so. Today, the Supreme Court concluded that it could not decide the issue at hand because, after Judge Wright's order, the General Assembly enacted a new law called Act 1. Act 1 changed the law that was the basis for the lawsuit and Judge Wright's order. Although the plaintiffs argued that Act 1 is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court explained that it could not decide whether Act 1 is valid because Judge Wright had not yet had an opportunity to rule on the issue. The Supreme Court rejected the state's arguments that the case should be dismissed entirely. As a result of today's decision, the case goes back to Judge Wright to determine whether the federal government may still pay for retroactive benefits and whether Act 1 is constitutional. Legal Aid will continue zealously representing our clients in their fight to obtain these benefits.

Note: Legal Aid cannot accept new people to add to the lawsuit right now.

Everyone is Presumed Capable of Financially Supporting their Child(ren) in Arkansas.
But this presumption may be overcome. If you are disabled and your only income is SSI, under Arkansas law you may not be ordered to pay child support. If you are otherwise unable to gain income due to incarceration, or home responsibilities such as caring for young or disabled children, you may also use those facts to ask that you not be responsible for paying child support.

Little Rock, Ark. (Feb. 2, 2022) –  Arkansas Community Foundation today announced that 21 grants were made from the Arkansas LGBTQ+ Advancement Fund to support organizations with programs, activities or projects that directly support LGBTQ+ Arkansans. Grant applications are being accepted for the second round of funding until March 15.

“This fund allows LGBTQ-serving nonprofits in our state to expand their impact on communities and help Arkansans pull together to build a more welcoming and supportive environment for us all,” said Heather Larkin, president of Arkansas Community Foundation.

LITTLE ROCK - Northeast Arkansas is cleaning up and entering the rebuilding phase after severe weather tore through the area on Friday. True to their core, many Arkansans will want to help their neighbors clean up and rebuild, however con artists will seize the opportunity to take advantage of hurting communities, especially as supply chains are making it harder to acquire necessary products for the home repairs.

“I urge all Arkansans to stay alert as they begin the clean-up process and use caution if approached with unsolicited home-repair offers,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Scams are common following severe weather and in these already difficult times fraud can place additional strain on Arkansans when services aren’t completed as promised.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide $13.6 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to enable 51 HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program agencies to conduct a range of fair housing enforcement and education and outreach activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you, Sarah Ridgley, artist and attorney, for your generous donation of $50,000 to Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Center for Arkansas Legal Services. Generosity such as yours makes a massive difference to the lives of our clients and the number of people we can serve. Your donation will provide free civil legal assistance to an additional 125 low-income Arkansan families. What an impact that will make not only for our organizations but also for all of Arkansas. We are eternally grateful to you for your support. Thank you Sarah! Please find her work here https://sarahridgley.com

Terry Davis-Lowell, a courtroom translator, translates Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, for a defendant during Springdale District Court proceedings as bailiff Chris Moist of the Springdale Police Department stands by in Judge Jeff Harper's court in the Springdale city administration building. Davis-Lowell provides Marshallese and English translation for defendants and courtroom officials on Wednesdays. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT UPDATE: Arkansas Supreme Court Denied our Emergency Request to Speed up its Consideration of the State's Appeal of Judge Herb Wright's Order

The Arkansas Supreme Court denied our emergency request to speed up its consideration of the state's appeal of Judge Herb Wright's order to restart the federal unemployment benefits. Last week, the Supreme Court put the judge's order on hold while the appeal is pending. Based on the usual timeframes, the Supreme Court will probably not decide the case before December, and it could be well into 2022 before a decision is made.

In the meanwhile, the 70,000 Arkansans who would otherwise be entitled to these benefits will not have them. At Legal Aid, we know the hardship this means for our clients struggling to pay rent, have enough food, get medical care, and meet life's basic needs in the midst of a raging pandemic. We will continue to fight on behalf of our five plaintiffs. The next challenge ahead is that Governor Hutchinson and the Division of Workforce Services will try to have the case dismissed as "moot" because the law passed last week by the General Assembly tries to change the law that is the basis for our lawsuit. But, we won't give up the fight or the hope.

If anyone has a legal issue (other than wanting to join the lawsuit--that isn't possible right now), you are welcome to call our Helpline at 800-952-9243.

Kevin De Liban, the director of advocacy for Legal Aid of Arkansas, said there’s still a chance that the 69,000 Arkansans who lost 10 weeks of federal COVID unemployment benefits could still access some of that money eventually.

Unemployed Arkansans will NOT be receiving federal unemployment benefits in the near-term future. We and the plaintiffs plan to continue the fight, but, for now, unemployed Arkansans should assume that retroactive benefits or back pay will NOT be available.

UPDATE ON UNEMPLOYMENT: The State Appealed the Judge's Decision To Reinstate Federal Unemployment Payments

The state appealed the judge's decision ordering the state to pay federal unemployment payments and has asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to put the judge's decision on hold. We are waiting on the Supreme Court to rule. In addition, the Governor has convened the Arkansas General Assembly for a special session to pass a law to undercut the judge's decision. For these reasons, we cannot say when payments will start. It is possible that payments never restart.

We know everyone is struggling now and are doing our best. If the lawsuit is successful, it should benefit everyone on the federal programs as of June 26. You do NOT need to add your name to the lawsuit.

We will post more information here as we get it. Please call our Helpline at (800) 952-9243 if you want legal representation on another issue.

Breaking News: Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright ordered Arkansas to resume participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs.

This ruling would benefit the five plaintiffs in this order, and everyone enrolled in the unemployment programs as of June 26, 2021.

We will provide updates on what steps the state of Arkansas will have to take to resume the unemployment benefits, as soon as the information is available. In the meantime, please do not contact Legal Aid of Arkansas to discuss resuming benefits.

Thank you to all that helped this case be a success!

Fair Housing Webinars PDF

Advocates say having computer programs decide how much help vulnerable people can get is often arbitrary – and in some cases downright cruel.

Kevin De Liban, an attorney with Legal Aid of Arkansas, began fighting the cuts after severely disabled patients started calling “en masse” in 2016. “The human suffering was just immense,” he said. “You had people lying in their own waste. You had people getting bed sores because there’s nobody there to turn them. You had people being shut in, you had people skipping meals. It was just incalculable human suffering.”

About two years ago, Medicaid enrollees in Arkansas were discovering a new reality: if they wanted to keep their health coverage, they would have to navigate a complex, finicky state website every month to report that they were working, in school, or volunteering for at least 80 hours. Arkansas was the first state to ever impose a work requirement on Medicaid coverage, the government-run health insurance program for the poor. After the Trump administration had welcomed states to seek its approval for imposing work requirements in the program, another 18 eventually tried to do the same thing; the administration approved waivers in eight of those states.

The state’s newest approach to Medicaid expansion that Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday will likely prevent many of the people who need the coverage the most from getting it, said Kevin De Liban, director of advocacy for Jonesboro-based Legal Aid of Arkansas.

DHS just released a proposal with BIG changes to Arkansas's Medicaid Expansion program that will make it harder for people to get the health care they need to work, care their families, and live a full life. DHS is holding public meetings this Monday, 6/21, and Tuesday, 6/22, where people can participate by Zoom and offer their comments (people can also submit written comments until 7/12). Visit this blog post to see Legal Aid's review of the proposal, including the key changes and information about why the proposal is likely to keep low-income Arkansans from getting the care they need. The post also has more information on the public input process.

Although the American Rescue Plan provided federal funding to continue the extension of benefits and the additional $300 per week until September 4, 2021, Arkansas has announced that they will not continue to run these pandemic unemployment programs beyond June 26, 2021.  For more information on what that means, see below.

“We got a fair number of calls from workers who were really worried about going back to an unsafe working condition,” said Kevin De Liban, director of advocacy for Legal Aid of Arkansas. The state does not have many protections for low-wage workers, which has led to employers taking advantage of their staff, he said.

The U of A School of Law Summer Public Service Fellowship Program provides paid public service fellowships to promising law students interested in public service careers. It is part of the law school's broader effort to fulfill the university's mission as a land-grant institution.

Legal Aid of Arkansas has for years, been working to protect the AR Choices program. AR Choices is a Medicaid program that provides in home care to people who are elderly or have disabilities, so that they can stay at home instead of going to a nursing home. The state has been trying to cut the AR choices program for years, leaving hundreds of people without the care they need. Legal Aid has been telling the state about this for several years and there has been no effort to fix or address it. The three plaintiffs in our case ended up getting hurt by DHS’ failures. Individuals were left unable to use the bathroom, not getting enough food, and all sorts of other indignities. They suffered immensely through not getting the care they needed. Tune in to hear more about where this case currently stands.

Legal Aid of Arkansas filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Workforce Services, claiming the agency is withholding information about its decision-making processes during the COVID-19 pandemic and about its relationship with a vendor that suffered a data breach last year involving 30,000 applicants.

On December 18, 2020, Legal Aid of Arkansas filed a federal lawsuit in the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas against the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services for discriminating against María Murguía.

Legal Aid of Arkansas announces Kevin De Liban as its Director of Advocacy, a new position responsible for implementing its vision of providing equal access to justice for all. Legal Aid provides free civil legal services to Arkansas’ poorest and marginalized communities. The Director will design and direct litigation and advocacy efforts to best serve the organization’s clients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a broad, national moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent from Sept. 4 until Dec. 31, 2020. Tenants seeking protection under the moratorium are required to submit a declaration to their landlord regarding their inability to make rent payments despite good faith efforts. Those who violate the order are subject to severe criminal penalties, including fines of $100,000 or more, imprisonment, or both.

The Center for Arkansas Legal Services (CALS) and Legal Aid of Arkansas have received a combined $2 million in grant awards from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide free legal services to families impacted by the opioid epidemic.

Legal Aid of Arkansas has completed a multi-forum case against the owners and property management company of Springdale Ridge Apartments in Springdale. The case alleged systemic housing discrimination against Marshallese tenants.

We will not rest until real, meaningful, and lasting change is achieved and basic human rights are universally available.

Scammers often target people during difficult times. Coronavirus scammers are setting up websites, contacting people by phone and email, and posting disinformation on social media platforms. Here are some tips to help you avoid scammers.

We are offering free Virtual Estate Planning to prepare Powers of Attorney, Advanced Directives and Wills. Call our HelpLine at 800-952-9243 to apply for these services.

This Law Day, Legal Aid recognizes and awards the work of outstanding volunteer attorneys George Butler, Robert “Bobby” Coleman, Ray Nickle, Matthew Kezhaya, and University of Arkansas Law Student, Laura Edmondson. These pro bono public servants dedicate time and resources that help ensure low-income Arkansans receive equal access to legal services, often greatly improving the quality of life of clients. Legal representation and assistance has been proven to make a critical difference in case outcomes. This makes volunteers extremely valuable assets. 

This week the Arkansas Supreme Court issued an order requiring landlords to take an extra step to file evictions. Now anyone filing an eviction in Arkansas must affirmatively plead that their property is not subject to the federal eviction moratorium that was established by the CARES ACT. This is because it is easier for a landlord to determine whether their property is covered than it is for a tenant to get that information.

Legal Aid of Arkansas is here to help you hire a contractor you can trust. Our Consumer Workgroup has some insight to share with these 10 Tips to Hire a Contractor After a Disaster that will help you get started.

Legal Aid of Arkansas recognizes the legal issues that follow from tornado damage in a community. Legal Aid can help serve those impacted by the recent tornados in Northeast Arkansas. The destruction caused by tornados in Harrisburg and Jonesboro has affected the homes, businesses, and lives of so many. Due to the damage, Governor Asa Hutchinson declared this a state disaster area, and here are some resources that may help those in recovery. 

Legal Aid of Arkansas is receiving $406,396 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help eliminate housing discrimination in Arkansas. This funding will support Legal Aid’s ongoing mission ensure equal housing opportunity for all.

Legal Aid of Arkansas staff will continue to serve our clients through COVID-19. Here are some resources that may help you. Please call our HelpLine at 1-800-952-9243 if you are experiencing any civil legal problems.

We have decided to cancel the upcoming Spring Break Road to Justice Tour coming up March 23 - 26. This includes the criminal record sealing clinics in Wynne, Marianna, and Augusta and the CLE training in Forrest City on March 23.

Earlier today a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Gresham v. Azar, concerning the Trump administration’s approval of a restrictive Medicaid waiver project, which among other things, conditioned Medicaid coverage on compliance with work requirements. Judge David Sentelle issued the unanimous opinion. The panel found that in approving the project without considering its effect on Medicaid coverage, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

January 31, 2020, marks the 14th anniversary of Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about EITC and who can claim it. This year, Legal Aid of Arkansas is promoting EITC Awareness Day and free tax preparation sites in Arkansas. Staff Attorney and Director of Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Jennifer Gardiner, will be going live on Facebook at @ARLegalAid on Friday, January 31st at 2:00 PM with more information about EITC, who’s eligible, and how to claim. 

Legal Aid of Arkansas is hosting a free statewide symposium on Wednesday, January 29, to share how legal services can help individuals experiencing opioid use or substance use disorder and their families.

Legal Aid of Arkansas has been awarded $200,000 to incorporate civil legal services as part of the prevention, treatment, and recovery protocol in Arkansas’ targeted response to the opioid crisis. 

Legal Aid of Arkansas is celebrating the grand opening of its new fair housing office in Little Rock on Thursday, July 25.

Legal Aid of Arkansas received $128,672 in funding from the Children Living in Poverty Initiative of United Way of Northwest Arkansas, announced May 31st.

Legal Aid of Arkansas has been awarded  $161,000 for the Midwest Legal Disaster Coordination Project by the Legal Services Corporation, as announced Thursday.

Legal Aid of Arkansas has been awarded $281,396 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to fight housing discrimination in Arkansas.

The D.C. District Court struck down the work reporting requirements in the Arkansas Works Medicaid program. Despite the good news, the work is not done.

Legal Aid of Arkansas is promoting a new education campaign designed by the Federal Trade Commission to enlist people over 65 in the effort to recognize and report frauds and scams.

In 2018, Arkansas became the first state to put work reporting requirements in Medicaid. In the first five months of the requirements, 18,164 people lost insurance because they went three months without reporting. Consistent health coverage is needed for people on Arkansas Works to be healthy enough to work and make a better life.

The Consumer Protection Practice Group at Legal Aid of Arkansas stands for Racial Justice.

Legal Aid of Arkansas, in partnership with the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County and the Benton County Bar Association, hosted an estate planning clinic on Feb. 2 for recipients of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund.

Legal Aid of Arkansas has entered a new partnership with the Office of Support, Training, Advocacy, and Resources (STAR Central) at the University of Arkansas to provide student survivors of sexual violence with access to legal advice and victim-centered advocacy.

Returning veterans can face many challenges upon reentering civilian life. There are many areas involved in the readjustment.

Legal Aid of Arkansas is now providing free, comprehensive representation to survivors of campus-based sexual assault. To represent these new clients, Legal Aid of Arkansas has hired Spencer Bowling as an Equal Justice Works Fellow.

The Pulaski County Circuit Court issued judgment in Alexander Apartments v. City of Little Rock. The judgment included $52,000 in compensation for the tenants of Alexander Apartments stemming from the City's illegal attempt to close the complex during Christmas week in 2015.

Legal Aid of Arkansas once again participated in Arkansas Re-entry Awareness Week by hosting events in Fayetteville, Mountain Home, Berryville, Mountain View, Searcy, Jonesboro, Fort Smith, Clarksville, Mena, Conway, Little Rock, Forrest City, West Memphis, Malvern, Pine Bluff, Stuttgart, Monticello, El Dorado, Camden, Magnolia, Texarkana, Batesville, Paragould, Rogers, Harrison, Russellville, Hot Springs, Newport, Osceola, Blytheville, Arkadelphia, and North Little Rock. For more information on these events go to http://www.dcc.arkansas.gov/reentry-awareness-week.

Home improvements and repairs are some of the most unpleasant and expensive responsibilities of home ownership. However, a reputable contractor can improve your experience. Unfortunately, scam artists target the elderly and people who receive insurance proceeds after a disaster. Older people are more likely to have money saved and have home equity, which makes them attractive targets. Learn to recognize a home improvement scam before it's too late.

If you are a low income taxpayer, you are eligible to have your income tax return prepared for free at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site. There, IRS-certified volunteers will complete and e-file your federal and state income tax return. Some sites are walk-in and some require appointments. Also, some sites, designated as an AARP or TCE site, specialize in senior citizens. See the attached list of NWA sites for the upcoming filing season. Sites open in late January or early February.

Legal Aid of Arkansas welcomes two new staff attorneys, Trevor Hawkins and Sarah Barnett, to ring in the New Year. Access to legal representation is critical to quality of life, so every new addition to the Legal Aid team can be seen as a step toward improved communities and a better Arkansas.

Is someone trying to adopt your child? Your biological child? And you don’t want them to? For anyone facing a situation where someone is trying to adopt his or her child without consent, it can be helpful to know what Arkansas courts are currently thinking on this issue. Read this to better understand your rights.

“Why don’t you just leave?” A question many of our clients have heard before. The truth is, leaving is not always that simple. For many victims of domestic violence, there are multiple barriers to leaving the abusive relationship: children, fear, love, and even money.

Legal Aid of Arkansas has assembled a list of all the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Centers for the Elderly (TCE) in Arkansas state. You can find a VITA/TCE site near you by searching in your county section or by calling 1-800-906-9887.

The Federal Trade Commission made final amendments to the Used Car Rule (formally known as the Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule). The changes require car dealers to display a window sticker, or “Buyers Guide,” on used cars offered for sale. The Guide discloses whether the dealer is offering to sell a used car “as is” (without a warranty), or with a warranty. The FTC works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers.

As everyone is scrambling to file their tax returns, or at least planning to file their 2016 return, you should know that there are many choices for how to do it. Below is a list of the different places you can file your tax returns and a brief description of who can qualify.

Whether due to an unexpected job loss, a medical event, a court judgment, or other change in economic circumstances, a person will find that he or she is no longer bringing in enough income to pay his or her bills. This economic condition, in which the money coming in is less than the amount going out to pay debts, is called insolvency. When a person becomes insolvent, he or she may consider bankruptcy as a way to deal with this overwhelming debt and get a fresh start.

Seven Arkansans represented by Legal Aid of Arkansas filed suit today in Pulaski County Circuit Court to stop the Department of Human Services from using a secret computer algorithm to cut Medicaid in-home services for people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and quadriplegia. The suit alleges that DHS hid the algorithm from public input and oversight in an act of bureaucratic lawmaking that violates the Administrative Procedures Act.

It doesn’t get you into trouble. You’re not giving legal advice. It won’t make the other person stop talking. But what it will do is tell the person on the other end of the line that you care. That you’re human—and not a machine. That someone is listening to them, and that it’s safe for them to keep talking.

If you or someone you know who lives in Woodruff County has been the victim of domestic violence there are resources available in your area. You can go to the Woodruff County Circuit Clerk’s office located on the first floor of the Woodruff County Courthouse located at 500 North 3rd Street, Augusta, AR, and fill out a petition for an order of protection.

There are some common questions pertaining to the guardianship of a minor, including how to file for guardianship and the difference between guardianship and custody. Legal guardianship of minor children is regulated by state laws, meaning each state has their own unique requirements and obligations associated with becoming the guardian of a minor child.

If you are a low income taxpayer, you are eligible to have your income tax return prepared for free at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site. There, IRS-certified volunteers will complete and e-file your federal and state income tax return. Some sites are walk-in and some require appointments. Also, some sites, designated as an AARP or TCE site, specialize in senior citizens. See the attached list of NWA sites for the upcoming filing season. Sites open in late January or early February.

There are several important things to remember when filing for an order of protection. This includes the order that any previous acts of violence should be listed in, remembering to take and print photos of injuries to attach to the petition, being as specific and honest as possible when describing details of the assault or injury, and more.

Many of us have seen commercials about reverse mortgages. On the surface, they seem like a good deal. They promise to give people - especially elderly people - access to much needed funds. However, reverse mortgages do come with some drawbacks. Here are the 5 things you need to know about reverse mortgages.

There are many options available to anyone seeking help with tax return preparation that are free to those who qualify. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program both offer free tax help for all taxpayers, and some VITA sites are even able to prepare Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) applications for free.

Many people anticipate their tax refund to help cushion holiday expenses, pay essential bills, or build savings. Everyone can begin filing their taxes when tax season begins. However, if you’re claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit , due to a new law , you won’t receive your refund until after February 15, 2017.

Are you moving homes sometime in the near future? You should know that it's important to update government agencies of any address changes for a few different reasons. By failing to report an address change, you could prevent the arrival of any government check or letter. This is especially important during tax filing season.

Probate is the process that people's families go through after they die to determine how debts are paid and who inherits what. This process can be expensive and often lasts for more than a year. There are several ways to avoid this process so that you do not own assets at your death.

The Legal Aid of Arkansas Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) and the IRS are dedicated to preventing predatory tax return preparers from taking advantage of taxpayers. It's important that you file both an accurate and on-time return and make smart choices when choosing a tax refund preparer if you decide to hire one.

Beginning in 2017, if a taxpayer claims the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on their tax return, the IRS must hold their refund until at least February 15. This change helps ensure that taxpayers receive the refund they are owed by giving us more time to help detect and prevent fraud.

Medical Legal Partnerships have been established in almost 300 health care institutions in 41 different states. The mission? To improve the health and well-being of people and communities by using lawyers to tackle health-harming legal needs and social-conditions.

After months of uncertainty, more than 7,000 elderly and disabled Arkansans can rest easier in their own homes. Federal Judge D. Price Marshall ruled that the in-home care hours that allow them to avoid institutionalization cannot be arbitrarily cut. Judge Marshall ruled that the Arkansas Department of Human Services did not provide adequate notice about changes in the ways hours of care were determined.

For many people, the most impactful barrier to employment in the criminal record. Many employers use criminal records as a way to narrow the applicant pool to whom the employer deems most qualified. However, some uses of criminal backgrounds might violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

More often than we care to think, we’ve all been caught seeking help in a crisis. Oftentimes it’s a crisis involving a problem of close proportions, our personal relationships, families and job contacts. This makes the crisis particularly painful, generally leaving us stress-filled and in the dark as to what to do and what resources are available. It’s during these times that we need to turn to knowledgeable, trusted and reliable resources for help.

If you filed an extension request to file your income tax return for 2015, the deadline is now approaching! You must file your return by Monday, October 17, or face a penalty for failure to return your file.

Did you know that the Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant with an emotional support animal? The Fair Housing Act applies even when the landlord has a “no pets” policy, as long as the landlord owns more than three single family homes.

For any homeowner who may be considering a loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), you need to be aware that HAMP and many of the other programs under the Making Home Affordable program are coming to an end.

We live in a society where getting things done in the fastest and cheapest way possible is the goal. Using Orders of Protection to modify custody orders can do just that: if there is a prior custody order, using an Order of Protection to modify that order only puts a Band-Aid on the bigger issue of modifying custody and has other negative implications as well.

If the child was born during marriage and you and your spouse are separated but not yet divorced, and there is no other court order in place, then you are considered joint custodians and have equal rights of access to the child.

A rent-to-own home contract may seem like a good idea, but purchasers often lose thousands of dollars in these deals and wind up without the home. The sad reality is that few of these agreements end in actual purchases because of the many dangers that come with entering this kind of a contract.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Close Menu