Individuals who can’t afford an attorney can contact New Mexico Legal Aid. This is a federal government funded organization that offers seniors and low income families free advice, representation, and support. The services they offer cover a number of topics and civil legal matters.
If you need help applying for government aid, or if you were terminated or denied from public assistance programs, including federal government or state of New Mexico resources, then an attorney may be able to assist. They can help with issues including unemployment insurance, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and cash assistance, and there are many others in which a lawyer can help. New Mexico Legal Aid also runs a mortgage counseling service in partnership with non-profits. Another options is the Disability Advocacy department which represents residents who are either filing claims for disability benefits or SSI, or they can provide assistance in appealing the termination or denial of disability benefits.
The non-profit law firm can provide information, free legal representation, or referrals to adults and children with developmental disabilities. The pro-bono law firm focuses in areas such as housing discrimination, Social Security/SSI, special education law, rehabilitation programs, employment, and transportation. The firm will also provide legal aid to individuals with disabilities on issues or topics such as discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and attorneys fight for the rights of those that are being discriminated against.
A goal is to reduce homelessness as well as prevent unlawful evictions or foreclosures in New Mexico. This is a continual challenge in the region. In an effort to solve it, lawyers and paralegals provide legal advice and representation to tenants in eviction and homeowners in foreclosure proceedings, with a goal of ensuring that all of a tenant’s rights are preserved and that people can stay in their homes or rental units.
Paralegals and attorneys in the New Mexico Consumer Housing Unit help homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes primarily as a result of foreclosure, and refer borrowers to mortgage assistance resources and programs.
Lawyers can also often provide referrals to one of the many free New Mexico HUD approved housing counseling agencies or a non-profit credit counseling group. Many of these locations offer free mortgage delinquency services to residents, regardless of their income. Legal aid will often have a close working relationship with one of their unit attorneys or paralegals. Homeowners may also call or just walk in to a local office during specified hours to obtain free advice, counseling or referral in person.
A special unit represents victims of domestic violence. Lawyers will help women, children, and victims obtain orders of protection and assists with related legal issues such as child visitation and custody matters. The firm will also help New Mexico residents with locating attorneys to represent victims of domestic violence in obtaining divorces, and they can do this for free, as well as represent the victim.
An extensive array of services, advocacy and free legal representation is offered to income qualified elderly and senior citizen clients in practice areas including Medicaid, housing, applying for government benefits, permanency planning and home care cases.
Youth can be supported as well. Legal Aid is also available for advocacy and legal representation to children in areas including benefits, education and special education law, disabilities advocacy, permanency planning, housing, and guardianship.
A team of lawyers and paralegals have been helping clients for many years, and they focus on matters involving Protection From Abuse Orders, Child/Spousal Support, Custody, Divorce, and other related matters. Get help with maintaining custody/visitation with the child, support in seeking to obtain child/spousal support, and assistance with reducing or terminating custody/visitation of another.
Lawyers can also assist individuals and their families who are infected with or affected by HIV and/or AIDS. Qualified applicants can get help with a broad range of legal issues including eviction prevention, disability, filing for Medicaid/insurance, and permanency planning.
Pro-bono services are also available for clients who suffer from mental illness with an extensive array of legal services including disability, housing, foreclosure, consumer debt, and other general legal matters. This vulnerable group often needs additional attention. Staff will provide outreach and education to the community and to other non-profit agencies about legal rights and how to protect them.
New Mexico Legal Aid can be reached at (505) 243-7871. If they can’t help you, they will try to refer individuals who are not qualified for services to federal, state of New Mexico and/or local non-profit agencies who may give them the help they deserve.
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