Income Guidelines

FINANCIAL ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES

INCOME

Legal aid has established a maximum income level for different family sizes. The maximum income level is 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (shown in the chart below). These numbers are the maximum levels. If certain factors are present, legal aid can waive up to 200% in unusual or meritorious circumstances. Call the HelpLine to see if you qualify for free legal help.

Size of Family Unit Weekly Maximum Monthly Maximum Yearly Maximum
1 $281 $1,216 $14,588
2 $378 $1,639 $19,663
3 $476 $2,062 $24,738
4 $573 $2,484 $29,813
5 $671 $2,907 $34,888
6 $769 $3,330 $39,963
7 $866 $3,753 $45,038
8 $964 $4,176 $50,113

WHAT IS CONSIDERED INCOME?

Household income is used in deciding whether you are eligible. This means that the income of everyone who lives in the house is used to determine if you are eligible for free legal aid. There are some exceptions to income, such as food stamps and housing vouchers.

Examples of income include:

  • Wages and salary before any deductions
  • Income from self-employment
  • Government benefits (Social Security, SSD/SSI, veterans, unemployment, workers comp)
  • Child support, alimony, or military family allotments
  • Private and public pension benefits or insurance/annuity payments
  • Income from dividends, interest, rent, royalties, or payments from estates or trusts
  • Any other cash benefit or regular or recurring sources of financial support

VERIFICATION OF INCOME

In certain instances, if it appears necessary to verify an applicant's income, we may ask for the previous year's income tax returns, bank statements, etc.

GROUP REPRESENTATION

We may provide legal assistance to a group, corporation, or association if it is primarily composed of persons eligible for legal assistance under 45 CFR Part 1611 and it provides information showing that it lacks, and has no practical means of obtaining, funds to retain private counsel.