Department of Human Services

NJ Human Services Announces Partnership with Community Health Law Project to Increase Access to Legal Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals with Lower Incomes

July 26, 2021

(TRENTON) –   Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced that the Department has partnered with the Community Health Law Project to increase access to legal services for deaf and hard of hearing individuals with lower incomes.

The partnership is a collaboration between Human Services’ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH) and Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).

Through the partnership, eligible deaf and hard of hearing individuals can receive legal assistance and supports with matters related to their public assistance, health insurance, social security benefits, landlord-tenant disputes, foreclosure defense, family law issues, consumer protection and debt collection and more. In addition, CHLP is able to meet communication access needs including ASL interpreting and captioning.  

Since 1976, the Community Health Law Project (CHLP) has provided legal and advocacy services to New Jersey residents with disabilities. They serve individuals who have a mental illness, individuals with various types of disabilities, and individuals living HIV/AIDS. Each year, CHLP helps nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents with disabilities through legal brief service and representation.

The partnership stems from funding investments in the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing included in the state budget recently signed by Governor Murphy.

“The Murphy Administration is committed to creating a stronger and fairer New Jersey, and this partnership helps turn this commitment into reality for deaf and hard of hearing individuals,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “This is about increasing access to legal services for deaf and hard of hearing New Jerseyans and ensuring their communication needs are supported when seeking legal representation and support. I am very excited for the lasting impact this partnership will have for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.”

“The Community Health Law Project has been providing legal services to low income individuals with various disabilities for the past 45 years,” said Community Health Law Project Associate Executive Director Erika Kerber-Spitz. “We are thrilled to now be partnering with the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Department of Human Services to provide our services to low income consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing. We know that these individuals have historically been underserved and we are so pleased to be able to offer them the legal assistance they may need to help them live and thrive in their communities. As with our other clientele, we will provide these consumers with assistance in various civil law matters ranging from housing, public entitlements, family matters, consumer issues, discrimination and public accommodation issues, as well as other civil law matters. We are grateful to the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Department of Human Services for the opportunity to provide our assistance to this population."

 “This new partnership will improve outcomes for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing in need of legal services,” Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira said. “And we know that not only includes being able to access an attorney but also being supported with their specific communication needs which plays a key role in creating better outcomes for the individual.”

“We are very excited to be taking this step toward ensuring the important legal needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals with lower incomes are being addressed,” Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Executive Director Elizabeth Hill said. “It is critical that those in need have access to the same services as their peers that permit them to live full and fair lives.”

“We look forward to this new partnership positively benefiting deaf and hard of hearing New Jerseyans with lower incomes,” Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke said. “This is an exciting opportunity and we look forward to being a part of providing essential legal services to those who qualify.”

Individuals interested in these services can contact their CHLP local office to check if they are eligible and get help.  Please refer to the list below to determine which office to contact: 

Community Health Law Project Offices:

 

Administration

South Orange, NJ 07079

185 Valley Street

Phone: (973) 275-1175

Fax: (973) 275-5210

E-mail: chlpinfo@chlp.org

 

Bloomfield, NJ 07003

650 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite 210

Phone: (973) 680-5599

Fax: (973) 680-1488

TTY: (973) 680-1116

E-mail: Bloomfield@chlp.org

 

Collingswood, NJ 08108

Station House Office Building

900 Haddon Avenue, Suite 400

Collingswood, NJ 08108

Phone/TTY: (856) 858-9500

Fax: (856) 858-9545

E-mail: Collingswood@chlp.org

 

Elizabeth, NJ 07201

65 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 402

Phone: (908) 355-8282

Fax: (908) 355-3724

TTY: (908) 355-3369

E-mail: Elizabeth@chlp.org

 

Galloway, NJ  08205

160 South Pitney Road

Galloway, NJ  08205

Phone: (856) 858-9500

 

Jersey City, NJ 07306

35 Journal Square, Suite 831

Phone: (201) 630-6201

Fax: (908) 355-3724

 

Mount Holly, NJ 08060

4 Commerce Place

Phone: (609) 261-3453

Fax: (609) 261-8596

 

Neptune, NJ 07753

3301 Rt. 66

Bldg. C, Suite 130

Phone: (732) 380-1012

Fax: (732) 380-1015

E-mail: Neptune@chlp.org

 

Toms River, NJ 08753

250 Washington Street, Suite 5

Phone: (732) 349-6714

Fax: (732) 349-6935

 

Trenton, NJ 08608

225 East State Street, Suite 5

Phone: (609) 392-5553

Fax/TTY: (609) 392-5369

E-mail: Trenton@chlp.org