The essential mission of CHLP is to provide legal and advocacy services to New Jersey residents with disabilities. We serve consumers of mental health services, people with physical disabilities, HIV/AIDS, developmental disabilities, and visual impairments. Our attorneys and advocates represent clients in matters involving Social Security benefits, Welfare, food stamps, and other entitlements; housing habitability and landlord-tenant disputes; foreclosure defense; consumer protection and debt collection; child support and domestic violence; Medicaid, Medicare, and other health insurance issues. Each year, CHLP helps nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents with disabilities through brief service and representation.  In addition to these services, CHLP operates several unique programs:



The Community Health Law Project (CHLP) is offering low cost Fee-for-Service representation in uncontested guardianship matters for clients who are seeking guardianship of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities who are between the ages of 18 and 21 and who are residents of Union, Hudson, Essex, or Passaic County.  The purpose of this program is to fill a gap in service for families of individuals with disabilities who are in need of a guardianship but who are not yet registered with the Division of Developmental Disabilities (starts at age 21) to qualify for free services from CHLP in guardianship matters.

Clients in this program will be charged a flat fee of $1,800 for legal services and a $500 fee for incidental costs such as court filing fees, postage costs, photocopies, etc.  Any portion of the $500 fee remaining at the end of the case will be returned to the client.  Clients will be solely responsible for paying any fees required by court appointed attorneys, experts, or other potential costs.

The Fee-for-Service program has an income eligibility limit of 325% of the 2019 Federal Poverty Level which is $40,593 for an individual.  The income of the individual for whom guardianship is being sought is the only income used to calculate eligibility for this program.  There is also an asset limit of $100,000 excluding the value of a home and certain other property.



CHLP Receives Federal Grant to Aid Victims of Domestic Violence

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women awarded CHLP $600,000 over a three year period to provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence in four southern New Jersey counties.  CHLP has partnered with the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence (NJCEDV) on this important initiative.

The goal of the project is to provide holistic legal services to victims of domestic violence with mental health issues and/or substance use disorders in Atlantic, Burlington, Cumberland, and Gloucester Counties.  Dedicated CHLP attorneys, based out of CHLP’s Collingswood office, will provide representation in civil law matters such as family, housing, consumer and entitlements. Domestic violence victims will be referred through NJCEDV’s statewide domestic violence hotline at 800-572-SAFE (7233).


The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Funds Medical-Legal Partnership Between CHLP and the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris

The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey has awarded CHLP and the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris a $150,000 grant to fund a medical-legal partnership demonstration program in Essex County, NJ. The goal of the project is to address the social determinants of health of vulnerable individuals experiencing severe and persistent mental illness, and to collect data and outcomes to better advocate for expanded funding for medical-legal partnerships with mental health and addiction agencies.

Medical-legal partnerships are being recognized nationwide as an effective and relatively low cost intervention to improve health outcomes. Research has shown that social determinants of health, such as housing, income, health insurance and family stability play a significant role in an individual’s health. Unlike the traditional referral model where the health care provider simply refers a patient-consumer to legal services, medical-legal partnerships embed lawyers and advocates into the health care team. The embedded attorney and advocate can proactively intervene before legal problems reach a crisis point, help health care staff recognize potential health-harming legal issues, navigate system and policy barriers to health, and break the cycle of treating patient-consumers only to have them come right back because their underlying barriers to health are not being addressed.



Are you having problems with a reverse mortgage, tax foreclosure or regular foreclosure?  Are you having a loan modification issue?  If you live in one of the following counties and have income under 250% of the poverty level, call the appropriate CHLP office:

Essex, Mercer, Union  -  call the Mercer office at 609-392-5553
Atlantic, Burlington, Canden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, or Salem  -  call the Camden office at 856-858-9500

CHLP offers free representation only to individuals whose income is no greater than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FLP).  In 2017, that means for an individual, CHLP's income limit is $30,150.  For a family of two, the limit is $40,600; for a family of three, $51,050; and for a family of four, $61,500.  The FPL figures increase slightly every year, and CHLP income limits are adjusted accordingly.


Open Enrollment for Individuals/Families
      You can apply and enroll in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace at during Open Enrollment from November 1, 2017 - December 15, 2017.  Health coverage starts as early as January 1, 2018.
      Through the Marketplace, you can apply, compare, and find out if you can get free or low-cost coverage.  The Marketplace offers different types of health plans to meet a variety of needs and budgets.  Many people using the Marketplace will qualify to save money.
    If you are unsure which health insurance option is the best for your and your family after researching plans in the Marketplace, the Community Health Law Project’s trained assisters are available to speak by phone or meet in person to help you navigate the Marketplace.
    The first step is to create a Marketplace account at where you can find out if you are eligible for subsidies toward your healthcare costs.  Gather the following information to create your account:
      •  Social Security numbers
      •  Birth dates
      •  Pay stubs, W-2 forms, or “Wage and Tax Statements”
      •  Policy numbers for any current health insurance
      •  Information about any health insurance you or your family could get from your jobs.

Special Enrollment
      You can sign up for marketplace health insurance outside of open enrollment if you experience certain life events that give you a “special enrollment period.”  If you experience one of these events, you have 60 days from the date of the event to enroll:
      •  Getting married or divorced.
      •  Permanently moving to a new area in the state or country that offers different health plans options.
      •  Losing other health coverage (due to job loss, divorce, loss of Medicaid, COBRA, decertification of current health plan, or loss of coverage under a parent’s plan).
      •  Gaining a dependent or becoming a dependent through birth, adoption, placement for adoption, or placement in foster care.
      •  Becoming a citizen, a national, or a lawfully present resident.
      •  Leaving prison, jail, or a correctional facility.
      •  No longer qualifying for an exemption from the penalty for not having insurance.

 Under the Affordable Care Act, you may be newly eligible for free coverage
through NJ FamilyCare if the montrhly income of your “tax household”
(the people included on your tax return (adults 19-64)) falls below the following amounts:

1 person - $1,437
2 people - $1,945
3 people - $2,453
4 people - $2,962
5 people - $3,470
6 people - $3,978

Children 18 and under are eligible with higher incomes up to 355% Federal Poverty
Level ($7,278 per month for a family of four).

These dollar amounts may change annually.

For Assistance

       CHLP staff will provide assistance to individuals living with disabilities to apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and New Jersey Family Care.

To schedule an appointment with a trained assister call:
North Jersey - 973-680-5599
East Jersey -  908-355-8282
Shore Area - 732-380-1012
Central Jersey - 609-392-5553
South Jersey - 856-858-9500
Or visit our website at:
Or visit the federal healthcare enrollment website at:


Community Health Law Project is a leader in the effort to enforce state and federal fair housing laws that govern barrier-free accessibility. Litigation initiated by CHLP has resulted in the construction of over 3,000 accessible apartments and condominium units in New Jersey and the repeal of numerous discriminatory municipal zoning ordinances. In 1996, one such lawsuit resulted in the repeal of exclusionary zoning ordinances that prevented community residences from operating in areas zoned for single-family dwellings. In 1998, a lawsuit was filed against a condominium development alleging violations of state architectural barrier laws. After being tried, in 2008 the judge ordered the developer to spend 1.5 million dollars for retrofits bringing them into compliance with the New Jersey Barrier-Free Subcode.


The Community Health Law Project's staff continued to address systems-wide issues that affect our clients in a number of ways. For example, we participated in statewide coalitions such as the New Jersey Anti-Poverty Network; New Jersey Medicaid and Medicare Advocates Group; and various county professional advisory committees to local mental health planning boards. We took active roles in the government affairs committees and other activities of statewide organizations such as Disability Rights New Jersey; the New Jersey Association of Mental Health And Addiction Agencies and the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. CHLP's direct services staff attorneys and advocates participated in dozens of local advisory boards and task forces around the state addressing issues such as homelessness, mental illness, developmental disabilities, Social Security, HIV/AIDS services, prisoner reentry and human services. In addition, CHLP provided community education and training on a variety of topics, including Social Security Disability, landlord-tenant law and the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008. We also continued to train consumers and mental health professionals and advocates regarding the extinguishment of psychiatric hospital liens and debts.


CHLP offers a wide range of workshops for consumers and professionals. With the support of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, it presents one to two Law & Disability Issues conferences a year at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. Subjects include general civil rights cases, fair housing rights, health care issues and new laws affecting people in institutional settings. CHLP’s branch offices also present trainings to consumers and professionals in their local service areas.


Since 1987, CHLP has been holding its annual Ann Klein Advocate Awards, the proceeds of which support its student internship program. Using these funds, as well as funding from Legal Services of New Jersey, CHLP has been able to hire several law students and graduate students every year to work in its branch offices on direct legal services, and in its South Orange Administrative office. In so doing, it helps to train and inspire the next generation of disabilities advocates and attorneys.

Powered by