Though there are some exceptions (see right), applicants generally must meet five criteria in order to be eligible for Legal Aid's FREE or LOW-COST services. (NOTE: if you do not Qualify please see our Affordable Lawyers Project)
a) Income eligible according to the guidelines set out by LSC annually (125% of federal poverty guidelines)
Size of Family Unit (in parentheses).
You must not make more than this amount pre-taxes per month:
(1 person) $1,297
(2 people) $1,745
(3 people) $2,193
(4 people) $2,641
(5 people) $3,089
(6 people) $3,537
(7 people) $3,985
(8 people) $4,433
b) Make over the income stated above but a member of a target population for which we receive additional funding specifically (e.g. HUD housing, Affordable Lawyers Project, Big Island and Maui Title III, etc); OR
c) Make over the income stated above but qualify as an exception to LSC income eligibility. Income Eligibility Exception must be completed.
Income is from any source, including:
• Financial assistance from the state or Federal government
• Child support/alimony
• Unemployment compensation, workers comp, TDI
• Any other allowance or payments that are regularly received by the applicant
Excluded from household income is:
• Irregular income (girlfriend gives him money once in
• In-kind income (someone pays the rent directly to the landlord for the applicant)
• Non cash benefits, such as Food Stamps
• For victims of Domestic Violence, financial eligibility shall be based only on the income of the members of the applicant’s household and exclude the income of the alleged perpetrator of violence.
a) Assets less than $8,000 for single individual; for each additional family member the limited is increased by $3,000; OR
b) Over-asset but qualify as an exception to LSC asset eligibility. Asset Eligibility Exception must be completed.
3. CITIZENSHIP OR ALIEN STATUS
a) U.S. citizen. If a client meets face-to-face with Legal Aid, U.S. Citizenship Documentation must be completed; OR
b) Eligible Alien. Eligible Alien Documentation must be completed and relevant documentation attached.
4. NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST with another client or have Waiver of Conflict signed by previous client.
5. TYPE OF LEGAL PROBLEM. Have a legal problem that is a type of problem that Legal Aid assists with.
If the applicant receives TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), GA (General Assistance) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income), they are financially eligible for Legal Aid’s services.
The purpose of the intake Hotline is to provide easy access to services at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Primarily, our clients can apply for services through our toll-fee state-wide phone service, which operates during the following times:
MONDAY - FRIDAY
9:00am to 11:30am in the morning, and
1:00pm to 3:30pm in the afternoon
URGENT NOTICE (OAHU) - Starting July 1, 2009 Legal Aid will not have Walk-In Intake Service or CEJ (Computer Access) service open to the public after 11:30am.
INTAKE HOTLINE NUMBERS:
OAHU (808) 536-4302
1-800-499-4302 on the NEIGHBOR ISLANDS, or
DIRECT PHONE (for existing clients)
WINDWARD (808) 239-5707
WAIANAE (808) 696-6322
HILO (808) 934-0678
KONA (808) 329-8331
KAUAI (808) 245-7580
LANAI (808) 565-6089
MAUI (808) 242-0724
MOLOKAI (808) 553-3251
EXCEPTIONS TO INCOME & ASSET ELIGIBILITY
Legal Aid is allowed to waive the financial tests for certain clients contingent on funding from other sources.
• Big Island or Maui Seniors: Any Income
Change the funding code to: BIG ISLAND: Hawaii County Title III; MAUI: Maui County Title III Legal Aid has several federal grants to help the elderly (60+). Maui and the Big Island have Title III grants which pay them to do legal work for seniors. (UHELP has the Title III grant for Oahu.)
• Foreclosure/Reverse mortgage or Pre-purchase counseling: Any Income
Legal Aid has a federal grant from HUD to operate a housing counseling program. Anyone facing foreclosure should be routed to the HUD Housing counseling unit. You may call the general intake hotline during hotline hours.
• HUD Homeless – Oahu Only: Any Income
Callers who are homeless (being evicted within a week with no where to go; living on the beach, street, park or place not meant for human habitation; fleeing a domestic violence housing situation; living in an emergency shelter; living in transitional housing; or in a hospital or institution for a short stay or being discharged with no where to go) are eligible for legal services under this program.
• IRS Grant: Income up to 250% FPL
Callers are eligible for assistance with a tax dispute (this means pretty much any problem they are having with the IRS) regardless of their income. This is a statewide program, but all dockets should be forwarded to Honolulu.
• Housing Discrimination Grant: Any Income
Callers who are experiencing discrimination in any housing situation (renting a unit, financing a housing purchase, applying for subsidized housing, etc) can call our Fair Housing Enforcement Program 808-527-8024 on Oahu or 1-866-527-FAIR (3247) on the Neighbor Islands.
• KID’s 200 Grant: Income up to 200% FPL
Caller’s are eligible if they have children in the house or are a child themselves and meet one of the following six criteria: 1) There are legal barriers preventing self sufficiency, 2) There are children in the household confirmed by CPS for child abuse and neglect, 3) The children are in a violent household, 4) There are runaway or homeless children, 5) the children are being denied educational access, or 6) There are teenage parents involved. Eligibility forms need to be completed.
• Affordable Lawyers: Gap Group Income
(between 125% FPL and 250% FPL)
Legal Aid's Affordable Lawyers Project offers legal services for a below market rate fee. Give applicants who are eligible for this program the number of the Affordable Lawyers Project on their island to call themselves. Do not open a docket. NOTE: Honolulu handles affordable lawyers cases for Oahu; Maui, Kauai, Kona and Hilo each handle their own cases.