The Georgia Legal Services Program has a goal of offering free legal advice and representation to lower income families as well as seniors. Assistance with civil matters is offered to struggling households in Georgia who can’t afford their own attorney. The non-profit firm, using federal government funding and donations from a number of sources, provides access to lawyers to help ensure justice and fairness for all.
The advice they provide is for civil cases, and they do not help with criminal cases. Find information on some of the services they offer below. The list below is only a sampling and additional support may be provided to qualified individuals. Or call them at 404-206-5175.
Housing assistance. Attorneys can help with such issues as mortgage foreclosures, landlord/tenant disputes, and they work to stop evictions. Lawyers also offer free advice on applying for government rent programs or help the elderly that are facing nursing home evictions. There is also support with admission to subsidized housing in Georgia, protection of housing vouchers, contractor fraud and predatory lending (including mortgage lenders and banks).
Free lawyers in Georgia also can even help a family with utility issues to prevent homelessness. As access to electricity and water is critical for housing stability. So if you are applying for a state of Georgia or federal program, and need advice on the application process, then an attorney or paralegal may be able to help.
Income Maintenance and Debt Issues. Among other things, this legal advice focuses on applying for federal as well as state of Georgia government programs such as TANF, food stamps, SSI disability and SSA cessation and overpayments. Lawyers also help clients access unemployment benefits, Medicaid, Medicare, Miller Trusts, and limited veterans benefits.
Other types of cases and issues supported by attorneys relate to medical and health care access, including they help residents find affordable prescription drug plans. Lawyers also advise clients on health insurance cases, medical debt collection, hospital charity programs, and the indigent care trust fund.
In addition, receive free legal assistance for various consumer issues that threaten household income or assets, such as identity fraud and theft. Other high demand civil legal aid is needed to solve illegal debt collection practices, defense of garnishments or other legal actions that threaten either someone’s employment or access to health care. As employment can be impacted by foreclosure or lose of home as well as everyone needs vehicles for related transportation. Lawyers can also help consumers that have taken on payday loans and advise them of laws in Georgia.
Education. Receive support for issues including access to free appropriate public education for children with special needs. There are also regulations having to do with resolving discipline actions, admissions problems, college grants, and transportation issues.
Domestic issues and violence. Free legal assistance can be provided by attorneys in Georgia to help with TPOs and related issues such as elder abuse or unsafe housing. A women or child fleeing from violence can get assistance in applying for TANF, child support, Medicaid, food stamps, contempt actions on temporary protective orders; and even receive advice from lawyers in dealing with divorces in limited circumstances.
But the services provided can also help with other family issues including cessation of child abuse or prevention of foster care placement, and even legitimation where child support is available. Staff from pro-bono firms may be able to represent clients, including women and children, in court.
Farmworkers Rights Division provides representation and legal aid to newcomers to the state as well as legal immigrant farm workers. A number of civil matters can be addressed by the pro-bono firms that operate across Georgia. One of the more common issues in Georgia is for farmworkers and residents that were not paid promised wages, provided agreed upon housing or transportation. This can also provide support to non-farm workers who were passed over for a job or promotion.
Get information on, and help in applying for Social Security, both SSI as well as retirement income. This is the main federal government benefit program for disabled and elderly Georgians. Attorneys will make sure you get the payments and benefits that you are entitled too. This will also include addressing any public health care issues as well.
Georgia Legal Services Program also operates free clinics around the region. Volunteer attorneys, paralegals and lawyers will meet with low income individuals and potential clients who need limited assistance at a place near them. Attendees of these clinics can get free advice on legal matters such as advanced directives, wills, civil family law matters or a number of other consumer issues. This can be held in regional offices or community centers.
Pro Bono Services and Judicare Programs. Many lawyers are donating their time to provide advice on a host of other issues, including bankruptcy, wills, guardianships, and advanced directives. The services listed above is only a sampling of the resources available from Georgia Legal Services Program. A host of other issues may be supported for income qualified clients.
The main statewide agency is noted above, however residents can also turn to more local pro-bono firms. These non-profits use a combination of volunteer attorneys, paralegals and other staff to help individuals that are less fortunate and that meet low income guidelines. In many cases, senior citizens can get free legal aid, regardless of their income.
The greater Atlanta region is supported by the Legal Aid Society. They provide assistance in the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Clayton, and also the Cobb region from several different offices. Read Atlanta Legal Aid Society.