When the safety net unravels, Maine Equal Justice is here
In 2016, we handled 460 cases for clients in every county in the state. Most of our cases were in the areas of health care and income maintenance which includes programs like food supplement, TANF, and General Assistance. We are pleased to report that in 2016 100% of clients who responded to our client satisfaction survey reported they had been treated with respect, and over 90% said Maine Equal Justice helped with their problem.
We are often asked, “What exactly does Maine Equal Justice do?” The short answer is: we work on behalf of Mainers with low income to improve lives. We advocate at the Legislature and government agencies to improve Maine’s laws and policies so that people are able to move out of poverty. For individuals who rely on vital safety net programs to meet their basic needs, Maine Equal Justice is here when the safety net unravels; we attempt to stitch the net back together and make it stronger.
People call us about lots of issues. Sometimes they’ve lost their MaineCare or other benefits. Sometimes the rules for those programs aren’t followed and they face sanctions or overpayments. Sometimes they got a letter that doesn’t make sense, and they just want to know what it means.
When clients call, we do our best to fix the issues we can fix. We often find quick and effective solutions by working collaboratively with staff at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). If we can’t fix the problem that way and the problem is systemic in nature (it impacts more than just one person), we may work to resolve it through the courts or the Legislature .