Disadvantaged individuals in Broward County who can’t afford access to representation on their own can get free assistance. There are two main pro-bono firms to contact for help, and they include Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, or CCLA, as well as Legal Aid Service of Broward County. The types of support they provide can help tenants that are facing eviction, seniors or the disabled apply for government benefits, and much more.
State and federal income tax preparation clinics will help qualified low income families, including the elderly and families with children, complete and file their taxes. In addition, lawyers and specialists will ensure people apply for all the credits they are entitled too, such as those for a kid.
In addition, if you have been audited, then an attorney may be able to represent the client in front of any IRS hearing or assist in the preparation of amended returns. Some of the specific cases addressed include audits/examination, deficiency notices, collection issues including liens and levy, appeals, and more.
Broward County’s Homeless Legal Rights Project is a form of assistance for the recently or even long term homeless population. Some of the civil matters they can get support with include applying for benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI). They can also learn about section 8 housing vouchers and similar assistance programs in the region.
Legal aid for housing concerns is available for both tenants and homeowners. The support is for those that are very low income and that would otherwise be facing homelessness. The main services that are part of Legal Aid Housing Law include both foreclosure and eviction prevention. Attorneys work to reduce homelessness in southern Florida.
Tenants with an eviction notice can learn about their rights and responsibilities. In some cases, staff from Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida or its partners will even offer mediation or can direct clients to emergency financial assistance. They may also know of additional places to turn to for affordable housing or apartments.
Foreclosure prevention is also available. This may include legal consultation, help in applying for mortgage loan modifications, representation in court or answering questions on the process. Low income homeowners can often benefit from legal aid during this process. Also get help with foreclosures due to unpaid property taxes or homeowner association fees not being paid. For those that are too far behind, Broward County Legal Aid Service can advise on when or if to file for bankruptcy to delay the process.
Some of the other housing issues include resolving disputes over utility disconnections, helping with tenant demands for repairs, security deposit disputes, general eviction defense, and offering legal support for tenants when home or apartment is not safe.
Get help in applying for state of Florida or federal government benefits. This is available as part of the Broward County Special Projects Unit legal aid team. The top priority is to help people gain self-sufficiency and stability, and in some cases government benefits are part of that solution.
To make this happen, the Coast to Coast as well as Broward County Legal Aid firms will assist qualified clients in applying for resources such as TANF cash assistance, child care, SNAP food stamps and educational or work opportunities. In addition, another major focus is on Medicaid and disability applications and helping people go through any appeal process for that.
For those that need more basic needs, there are many other support services and non-profits in the region. They may have clothing allowances, gasoline cards, bus pass vouchers, or information on transportation. If and when needed, clients can also get referrals to county resources for low income apartments, food, vocational and addiction rehabilitation programs, clothing and other resources.
Mission United Veteran’s Project is offered in partnership with United Way of Broward County and various pro-bono legal firms. This is for low income military members as well as their immediate family members. Get support in applying for VA benefits, housing and more. There is also assistance for Employment Law, general litigation, wills, and more.
Immigration assistance is for the vulnerable in the region. Receive free legal support with civil matters, such as help in victims of trafficking in persons, obtaining lawful immigration status, and more. Staff will also help, when possible, someone achieve permanent residence in Broward County or really as a US citizen. They can also represent people at the Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review and the Board of Immigration Appeals if needed. Call (954)736-2474.
Juveniles, students, and children across Broward County that are faced with entering the civil welfare system may receive help from Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida or other partner law firms. They work with charities, government agencies, and social service organizations in southern Florida in an effort to support youth in the region. They all work together as part of the Children’s Advocacy Project to help them overcome poverty, abuse, disability, abandonment and neglect.
Staff from the firms will help children access education, shelter, any needed healthcare, and low income housing if applicable. They also offer free legal aid to those impacted by neglect, abuse, or abandonment as well. In general, paralegals or other staff will help youth access any government benefits they are entitled too.
Another similar service from Legal Aid Service of Broward County is the Children’s Education Rights Project. This will focus on those with a disability, physical, or maybe mental condition. Working with IDEA, or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the non-profit firm will ensure students have access to the public education in Broward County that they are entitled too.
For more details, the main office is at 491 North State Road 7, Plantation, Florida 33317. Call (954) 765-8950 for information or intake.
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