Advice from Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach.
Civil matters can be addressed by Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach. The non-profit firm provides assistance to low income residents, including the disabled and families. Several different projects are administered in the region. A key reason they operate is to ensure that everyone from the Palm Beach County area has some form of access to affordable, or even free, legal support and representation when they need it.
Some examples of the services available include outreach, help with medical and health care matters, eviction prevention, and more. Lawyers or their well trained staff can help income qualified clients with whatever their matter is, provided it is civil in nature (not criminal) and the applicant meets other guidelines in place.
The Housing Project includes eviction defense, foreclosure counseling, and legal assistance to ensure the home or apartment is safe to live in. There are many components of this, as the staff from Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County work to stop homelessness in the community.
- The Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Project is for homeowners in Palm Beach facing the loss of their home to a foreclosure. Get help addressing predatory lending schemes, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and lending violations.
- Tenant services and help with eviction is provided. Lawyers can advise on responsibilities, may be able to contest illegal eviction or pay or quit notices, and offer other housing solutions.
- In general, attorneys and paralegals work to prevent homelessness in the community.
Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County Immigrant Advocacy Project is for the many newcomers in Florida. They can get information and assistance with applying for lawful permanent residence and community education in the area of nationality law and immigration.
Consumer issues are dealt with, such as disputes with employers on wages. The non-profit will offer free legal aid to employees that were fired illegally or that are owed money. Other legal support can contest illegal debt collection practices, payday loans and matters that individuals in Palm Beach are facing.
Senior law is available in partnership with groups such as the Area Agency on Aging Palm Beach/Treasure Coast. There is free legal assistance to individuals and the elderly over 60 years of age who have been exploited or the victims of abuse. There is also support arranged for indigent elders who are without family or friends care for or assist them.
Applications for government benefits are available for senior citizens and the disabled. Staff can often assist with applying and resolving disputes with the government entity. The pro-bono firm handles and advises on applications for Social Security, Medicare, SSI and housing matters, among others. If you have been denied, or can’t get the status of the claim or application, then the Legal Aid Society can often help with that as well.
Legal support for health and medical needs includes the following.
- HIV patients can get free legal representation as a result of the Ryan White Legal Project. Get help with employment matters, disability claims, public health care, family law, and insurance.
- Uninsured and low income can turn to the Medical Legal Partnership Project. This is available for people in Palm Beach County that get their medical or dental care from Federally Qualified Health Clinics.
- Navigation services can help clients understand government benefits and medical care options that are available to them, including things such as Medicaid for the poor or Medicare for seniors.
The low Income Taxpayer Clinic can help individuals resolve conflicts with the IRS. The Palm Beach Legal Society and attorneys from the firm will represent taxpayers in any dispute. There may be representation in various hearings or help in refiling a previous years forms. In addition, they provide assistance to income qualified taxpayers for whom English is a second language.
Family Law services are available. Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County can help victims of domestic abuse, child custody cases, and similar matters, even including divorce in some cases.
Teenagers as well as children from the region can get support as well. Assistance is for those in the state of Florida foster care system that meet age and other conditions. Representation is also available for children that are in the Juvenile Court, Family Court or Probate Court system.
Most of this free legal aid is part of the firms so called Children's Project. Often times the youth in the area are some of the most vulnerable. They also work with social serve agencies such as the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) when needed. In general, the program is to provide appropriate placement or treatment for youth in the county.
Caregivers can get access to legal aid. This is for those who are permanently caring for nephews, grandchildren or nieces. There is support and assistance for the often unique problems involved in this activity, such as accessing affordable housing or applying for government benefits for the child being cared for. The Legal Aid Society will also ensure medical, educational and other needs are met.
EALP, or the Education Advocacy Law Project, is for children who have difficulty enrolling in the Palm Beach school system. There is also help for students with disabilities who currently receive special education services, homeless children, and support for their parents. Much of this is offered in cooperation with the Palm Beach County School District.
As noted, all of this and more is for low income families that would not otherwise have the assistance they need. Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach has a few centers in the region, and dozens of volunteers. The locations are below.
- 423 Fern Street, Suite 200, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401, 561-655-8944 or call 800-403-9353
- West County Office, 141 South East Avenue C, Belle Glade, FL 33430. Call 561-993-3836 to make an appointment.
- West County Courthouse location is 38844 State Road 80, Belle Glade, Florida 33430, 800-403-9353
- South County is supported by an office at 200 West Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444, 800-403-9353