Low-income families, whether in red-state America or blue, turn out to need a lot of legal help.
July 3, 2017
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Tags: Funding: Federal, Medicaid, Veterans
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid of Arkansas (LAA) (Jonesboro, AR), Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (CLSMF), Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
In the past year, 7 in 10 low-income families experienced at least one civil legal problem, according to a recent University of Chicago NORC survey done for the Legal Services Corporation. Such problems include foreclosures, domestic violence (getting a restraining order, for example), custody disputes, debt repayment or neglectful landlords. The elderly, rural residents and veterans — all core components of the Republican base — are especially well-represented in this population.
A Navy veteran I spoke with over the weekend, 47-year-old Mario Figueroa of Daytona Beach, Fla., credited his local legal aid program with saving his life. He had fought on his own for two decades to convince the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide medical treatment and disability benefits for his service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder. He was successful only after seeking representation from Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, another Legal Services Corporation grantee.