Vermont hospital treated mental patients as criminals, public records show

The shortage [of beds available for patients who need inpatient psychiatric treatment] has led to an increase in mental health patients who may remain in emergency departments for long periods, said Jack McCullough, the director of Vermont Legal Aid’s Mental Health Law Project.... 

“Patients are not really receiving any treatment when they’re there,” he said. He added that patients are essentially “just locked up in a tiny room,” sometimes for as long as several weeks.

Shumlin bans criminal background question on state job applications

Chris Curtis, of Vermont Legal Aid, said after the press conference that he hopes lawmakers follow through with legislation that would eliminate the question for job applications in the private sector. Several large retailers, like Target and Walmart, have already removed the box from their applications.

Penalty Relief and Premium Tax Credit Reconciliation

As a guest blogger for Procedurally Taxing, a blog about issues relating to tax procedure and tax administration, VLA staff attorney Christine Speidel writes about Notice 2015-09 which provides limited late-payment penalty relief (for 2014 only) for taxpayers who have a balance due because they received excess APTC. 

The post also describes several conditions that must be met for penalty relief to be granted and procedural hurdles that will be difficult for some taxpayers to overcome.

Leadership a theme at VT diversity conference

Local panelists and facilitators at the conference will include representatives from the Burlington Police Department, Vermont Legal Aid; offices of diversity from St. Michael's College, Champlain College and University of Vermont; and the Association of Africans Living in Vermont.

Health Connect Leaves Low-Income Vermonters Struggling

Trinka Kerr, chief health care advocate at Vermont Legal Aid, said her office hears complaints about high deductibles and co-pays for insurance obtained through the exchange. "When people compare it to Catamount, it falls short," she said.

Hundreds gather to pay off Vermont tickets

The program was designed as a low-cost alternative for low-income Vermonters who are unable to pay their traffic fines and end up in perpetual unemployment and debt because they can't drive, said Chris Curtis of Vermont Legal Aid.

State Employees Push For Tax Hikes On The Rich

Christopher Curtis, a staff attorney at Vermont Legal Aid, says the cuts to programs at the Agency of Human Services function like tax increases on the poor.

This webinar, presented by Vermont Legal Aid attorney Christine Speidel, in collaboration with the National Health Law Program, covers:

Premium Tax Credit (PTC) Forms needed to claim PTC Reconciliation examples Consequences of not repaying excess APTC Individual Shared Responsibility Payment (SRP) Information needed for tax filing How to claim (or apply for) an exemption from the SRP Using an SRP calculator SRP examples Consequences of not paying the SRP Referrals and Resources

View the recorded presentation at the National Health Law Program website. The sound quality improves after the introduction.

Jackie Majoros, Committed Advocate for Long-Term Care Reform

Jackie Majoros, the State Long Term Care Ombudsman for Vermont, is featured in this full-page article that appeared in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Vermont Woman. The article describes Jackie's contributions to improvements in long term care for Vermonters and explains the long term care landscape in Vermont.

Report: Students With Disabilities Suspended More Frequently Than Peers

VLA staff attorney Jay Diaz discusses the results he found in his study reported in Kicked Out! Unfair and Unequal Discipline in Vermont's Schools.