Low-income hurricane victims being denied legal assistance

Congress must appropriate funding that permits legal aid groups to provide legal help, including representation, for as long as necessary for recovery, which we know can take years.

Op-Ed (Florida)

Charles Elsesser
Miami Herald
February 21, 2018

Tags: Disaster Recovery, Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Legal Services of Greater Miami (LSGMI)


The legal needs of low-income people left in Irma’s wake are piling on to a justice system that is already struggling under an excess of cases in which one or both parties are unrepresented. In The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans, LSC reports that seven in 10 low-income households experienced at least one civil legal problem during 2016, including issues with healthcare, housing conditions, disability access, veterans’ benefits, and domestic violence. Yet federally funded legal aid providers have the funding to serve only a small fraction of those who need their help.