Income Guidelines for Legal Aid

Legal aid establishes a maximum value of income in order for you to qualify for help. The more living in your household, the higher your maximum income can go (see the chart below). The threshold for most cases is 125% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). However, sometimes cases can be accepted for those making up to 200% of the FPL. To make sure you fall within these guidelines, call HelpLine.
Income Thresholds for Legal Aid, Based on Household Size
People in Houshold 
Federal Poverty Line (FPL)
125% of the FPL (Most Common Threshold) 
200% of the FPL (Possible Threshold) 
For each additional member: 
+ $4,160
+ $5,200
+ $8,320
How Do I Calculate "Household Income"?
Household income is the total income of every person living with the applicant.
What Qualifies as "Income"?
Unlike food stamps and housing assistance, which do not count as "income," many things are considered income. See the list below for some ideas.
  • Wages and salary before deductions
  • Income from self-employment
  • Government benefits, such as Social Security, Social Security Disability (SSD), Suplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans, unemployment, and workers' compensation
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Military family allotments
  • Private and public pension benefits
  • Insurance or annuity payments
  • Income from dividends, interest, rent, or royalties
  • Payments from estates or trusts
  • Any other cash benefit or regular or recurring sources of financial support
Be Prepared for Legal Aid to Ask for Verification
It may be that legal aid asks to verify your income, so be ready to produce verification, such as bank statements and tax returns.
If You Are Asking for Group Representation from Legal Aid
Legal aid can represent a group, be it a group of people, a corporation, or an association. For the group to qualify for representation, each person must be eligible according to 45 CFR Part 1611. The group must also show that it lacks, and has no practical means of obtaining, funds to retain private counsel.

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