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MPLP Newsletter - Autumn 2005

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Issue 29, Autumn 2005

Table of Contents





Consumer Law

Elder Law

Family Law

Housing Law

Public Benefits Law




MPLP 2005 Training Agenda

MPLP 2005 Taskforces Calendar





C O N S U M E R . L A W Articles by Lorray Brown, MPLP Consumer Law Attorney

A Dismal Future for Contract Law in Michigan: Rory v Continental Insurance by Larissa Werhnyak, MPLP Law Clerk A July decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, Rory v Continental Insurance Co, 473 Mich. 457 (2005) promises to profoundly impact the future of contract law in the state of Michigan.

Case Developments in Consumer Law by Larissa Werhnyak, MPLP Law Clerk


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E L D E R . L A W - Articles by Alison Hirschel, MPLP Elder Law Attorney


CMSs Medicare and You 2006 Contains Significant Error that Affects Low Income Beneficiaries Enrolling in Part D Plans The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently acknowledged that the Medicare and You 2006 handbook it sent to more than 40 million Medicare beneficiaries contains a significant error that may be detrimental to beneficiaries with income below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

Final 2006 Michigan Department of Community Health Budget More Generous Than Advocates Feared After months of political wrangling and draconian proposed cuts to the 2006 Medicaid budget, the final MDCH budget is far more generous than lobbyists and advocates expected.

Governor's Task Force Considers Ways to Reduce the Incidence of Elder Abuse As noted in the last newsletter, Governor Granholm issued an Executive Order in May that established the Elder Abuse Task Force. The diverse 17 member body is charged with identifying resources and changes in law that will assist in the prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

MPLP and Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service Consider Litigation to Address the Lack of Adequate Mental Health Care in Nursing Homes MPAS and MPLP are interested in learning about clients who have experienced inadequate mental health care in nursing homes as well as facilities and programs that do a good job caring for mental health consumers.

Seniors and Other Low Income Consumers Face High Utility Bills This Winter The media is full of predictions of exceedingly high heating costs this winter which will create a particular hardship for seniors and other low income consumers.


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F A M I L Y . L A W - Articles by Rebecca Shiemke , MPLP Family Law Attorney

Violence Against Women Act Passes House and Senate The United States Senate passed S. 1197, the bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 through fiscal year 2010, by unanimous consent on October 4, 2005.

HB 5267 -- Presumption of Joint Custody Introduced in Michigan HB 5267 has been introduced by Rep. Leslie Mortimer (R-Horton). The bill creates a presumption of joint custody and requires courts to order joint physical and legal custody unless

Recent Case Developments in Family Law

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H O U S I N G . L A W - Articles by Jim Schaafsma, MPLP Housing Attorney

Hurricane Assistance Information Resources
If you need to get information about the rights of and assistance available to hurricane survivors who've relocated to Michigan, there are many resources to consult.

HUD Notice outlines steps PHAs can take for voucher families with disabled members As reported in the National Housing Law Project's Housing Law Bulletin's October issue, earlier this year, HUD issued a notice (PIH Notice 2005-5) which provides guidance ("implementation suggestions") to public housing authorities/commissions (PHAs) about ways to assist persons with disabilities in their search for housing under the Section 8 (Housing Choice) voucher program.

Recent Case Decisions Relevant to Low Income Housing


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P U B L I C . B E N E F I T S . L A W

Social Security Administration Proposes Changes
to Disability Determination Process
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has proposed a series of changes in the disability review process that will drastically alter the way applications are currently handled. Some of the changes appear to be positive or at least neutral, while others are detrimental to applicants


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