Klein, Williams: Cuts threaten to slam courthouse door on West Virginians

When ordinary Americans need help with life’s big problems, the Legal Services Corporation is there. But its survival is threatened. That’s why it needs help from every resident of West Virginia.

Op-Ed (West Virginia)

Linda Klein, Marc E. Williams
Charleston Gazette-Mail
May 13, 2017

Tags: Funding: Federal, Justice for All

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV), Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


Heather Gillenwater lost her home in last year’s flood, so she turned to FEMA for help. Unfortunately, FEMA denied her request because she had lost her insurance policy in the storm and couldn’t get a replacement.

That’s when Legal Aid of West Virginia stepped in. A lawyer helped Hannah file complaints with state authorities and got her the documentation she needed. Another attorney helped Heather with her FEMA appeal. Ultimately, she received $22,000 to help rebuild.

There are many people like Heather Gillenwater around the country. Nationwide, Legal Services provides civil legal aid to nearly 2 million low-income people every year. To qualify, a family of four in the contiguous United States must earn less than $30,750 per year.