Legal aid is supported by a public fund, and is used to pay the legal services for people who are really in need. It is legal advice that can be free or inexpensive. The Legal Aid Society is one of the oldest funds in the United States and it is fundamentally a non-profit organization. Its free legal services are only meant for clients that cannot afford to pay a hired lawyer.
The court ultimately decides who is eligible for this aid and there are limits to monthly and yearly incomes that constitute basic eligibility. Persons who have an annual income that falls below the poverty line are eligible for legal aid.
A lawyer can assist you in applying for a legal aid claim. They have the necessary forms given by the court or you can approach a District Court or the law center in the community to obtain an application form.
There are many documents that are required to be submitted along with the application form – proof of identity, proof of address, income, investments or assets. Other details that you may need are:
- Contact address and phone number
- Date of birth
- Tax before income
- Savings details
- Value of big assets such as house or car
- List of dependents
Keep all the letters and other documents related to your case. In the event you have a partner, you need to keep them informed of all the details of your situation and the case against you because their finances may be needed to be considered for the application.
If your application is rejected, you can always appeal for a reconsideration or find a pro-bono (no fee) lawyer who can fight your case for you.