Free legal help?
Free legal help is sometimes called civil legal aid. Legal aid lawyers provide advice and representation to people who cannot afford a lawyer.
Legal aid lawyers help people with common problems like:
- Family: divorce, child custody and support, domestic violence, guardianship
- Housing: evictions, foreclosure, condition of property
- Consumer: bills, debt, utility shutoff, bankruptcy
- Public Benefits: food stamps, unemployment, Social Security, Social Security disability, Medicaid, TANF
- Immigration: citizenship, asylum, visas
Who qualifies for civil legal aid?
Legal aid services are available to United States citizens in Illinois with incomes at or below 125% of the current Federal Poverty Levels. In some cases, people with incomes at 150% or more of the federal poverty level may qualify for legal aid.
Senior citizens, veterans, homeless and people with disabilities may be able to get legal aid services regardless of income.
Certain non-citizens who are lawfully present in the United States may also qualify for legal aid services. Also, some organizations offer legal help to undocumented people.
Will I get a free lawyer?
Because so many people have legal problems, not everyone who applies for legal aid will get a lawyer. In most cases, if you meet income guidelines, you will be able to speak to a lawyer over the phone or in person. The lawyer will advise you on your legal matter or refer you to someone else who may help.
Legal aid is available in every community. Services are offered in many ways:
- Telephone hotlines
- Online self-help tools, like the one you are using now
- Help or advice desks
- Walk-in clinics
- Court representation by attorneys