Why are the payday lenders trying to destroy the CFPB? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly. The CFPB was created in the wake of the 2008 recession when reckless financial practices by banks and other financial institutions nearly […]We Can’t Create a Lending Loophole: Pay a Living Wage
A few days into the 2023 Virginia General Assembly session, VPLC learned that an “earned wage access” lender had talked two legislators into filing legislation to “regulate” the industry. The 2023 General Assembly rejected the legislation. However, it appears that there will be another effort to pass legislation in the 2024 General Assembly. What is […]Let’s Talk About Affordable Housing VPLC’s Invitation to Oliver Anthony: Join Us!
Odds are, by now you’ve heard about that song from a country singer in Farmville, Virginia, who performs under the stage name Oliver Anthony. As he belts “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Mr. Anthony raises an important issue that we here at VPLC care about and work hard to change: that working class and lower-income people work hard […]VPLC Receives Virginia Law Foundation 2023 Grant
With need for access to justice at an all-time high and the Rule of Law in the news every day, it is gratifying to be among 32 deserving nonprofits across the Commonwealth whose work addresses these areas. The work with Virginia Law Center completely aligns with the Virginia Law Foundation mission to promote the Rule […]In Memoriam of John Horejsi
June 9, 1940 – August 4, 2023 The staff and friends of Virginia Poverty Law Center mourn the loss of John Horejsi, an unsurpassed advocate for impoverished Virginians. John was the founder of, the fire within, and the guiding light of Social Action Linking Together (SALT). SALT is a network of Virginians embracing the principle […]Recognize the Signs of a Scam and Avoid Becoming a Victim.
It seems like scams are everywhere and sometimes it feels like there’s no way to avoid being taken advantage of by heartless scammers. Don’t worry – we’ve put together the top red flags to look for and things you can do to avoid being the victim of a scam! Scammers will often pretend to be […]If Children Are the Future, We Should Start Acting Like It.
While June, Family Reunification Month in Virginia and nationwide, has come to a close, its core commitment to doing what’s best for children’s development is a year-long pursuit. Children separated from their families and placed in foster care are more likely to struggle as adults. Across Virginia and the United States, children are taken away […]Helping Families Thrive: A New Approach to Child Abuse Prevention
Author: Valerie L’Herrou/VPLC Family & Child Welfare Attorney Around the country and here in Virginia, every April is designated “Child Abuse Prevention Month.” But at VPLC, we think this term is misleading. Why? Because we believe that the best way to help children is to help families thrive. Most cases of child abuse are actually cases […]Navigating Unemployment Insurance
Update: New data indicates VEC performance is still among the worst in the nation. Watch the segment on WTVR here. Top Tips for Unemployment Claims In the best of times, navigating the Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim and appeal process can be very confusing. However, with enduring delays and challenges from the pandemic, this confusing […]OPINION: Dominion Faces the Consequences of its Actions (Richmond Times Dispatch)
Read the Richmond Times Dispatch opinion piece by Albert Pollard, published February 19, 2023 here. If you are unable to reach the linked page, a pdf is below.Sneaky Tactic to Reduce VEC Backlog
Thousands of unemployment claimants may find today that their unemployment appeals are officially dismissed. In a move to wipe out more than a quarter of its backlog of almost 93,000 appeals, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) sent out notices alerting claimants that nearly 26,000 appeals – some years old – were filed late. The agency […]Reimagining Virginia’s Mobile Home Parks
Over 350,000 Virginians live in Mobile Home Parks. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, mobile homes are the largest source of non-subsidized affordable housing in the U.S. At a time when, according to JLARC, over 900,000 Virginia households pay more than they can afford for their housing (53% are renters, 47% owners), […]Thousands of Virginia Children Risk Losing Health Insurance URGENT ALERT re: VEC Appeals
Save Children, Save Money: Support Improved Compensation for Attorneys for Low-Income Parents
SUPPORT Budget Amendment 44 #2s (Edwards): High-quality family legal representation has been proven to improve outcomes for children in foster care – without compromising safety. Virginia pays court-appointed counsel for parents at the lowest rate of any state: there hasn’t been a raise in 23 years. Judges say they can’t even find lawyers to take these cases; […]2023 Budget Amendments: Tell the Virginia General Assembly that Vulnerable Virginians Need Medical Coverage
VPLC encourages Virginians to contact lawmakers and ask them to support Senate Budget Amendment item 308 #16s and House Budget Amendment item 304 #12h. These proposals are not an expansion of Medicaid eligibility. They simply eliminate unnecessary and burdensome processes, benefiting both administrators and consumers. Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee/ Health & Human Resources […]FACT SHEET: Increase SNAP Minimum Benefit for Seniors
Senate Item 341 #1s & House Item 346 #2h | NGF $1.1M; GF $20.4 Increase the minimum amount of SNAP benefits available to eligible individuals 60+ years of age from $23 to $48/month. This will help to offset the impact of the end of pandemic-related SNAP allotments and the impact of escalating food prices for […]Five Ways to Address the Virginia Employment Commission’s First Level Appeals Backlog
By Pat Levy-Lavelle, Legal Aid Justice Center and Flannery O’Rourke, Virginia Poverty Law Center The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) currently has a backlog of more than 96,000 first level appeals of unemployment decisions. The persistence of this backlog directly harms workers and employers, who (on average) must wait a whole year for an appeal hearing. […]When Virginia fails to provide meaningful legal representation to parents, it’s rural, low-income, and Black families who are torn apart.
Author: Anna Daniszewski/VPLC Legal Fellow Impressive reporting from Cardinal News this week shows the crisis of parents’ legal representation in Virginia. Services providers for children and even a county attorney – the person who brings child welfare cases against parents – agree: children suffer the consequences when parents have “paltry legal support.” When parents have […]2023 Budget Amendments: Support these Investments in Affordable Housing
Item 114 #12h (Delegate McQuinn)/Item 114 #27h (Delegate Coyner)/Item 114 #7s (Senator Locke)/Item 114 #9s (Senator McClellan): $90.1M to establish and fund the Virginia Housing Stability Fund 3-year pilot program that will provide long-term rental assistance to low-income households. Will provide assistance to 5,000 rent burdened households with incomes at or below 50% Area Median […]