Legal Aid Programs and Unit Information
Legal Aid provides direct representation to our clients in several substantive practice areas:
- Domestic Violence and Family Law: We help survivors of domestic violence obtain short- and long-term safety and stability for themselves and their children by securing protective and custody orders. We also help clients obtain divorces, guardianships, alimony awards, parenting plans, and child support orders.
- Legal Aid for Collier Kids: Legal Aid staff attorneys represent children in Dependency court who have been abused, neglected, and/or abandoned. Representation of children in Dependency court is done by court-appointment only.
- Women & Girls in Need Project: The Women & Girls in Need Project provides services aimed to address the economic issues and challenges facing low income senior women, women leading households by themselves with minor children, and women and girls with disabilities.
- Public Benefits for the Elderly, Veterans, and the Disabled: Our Public Benefits Unit provides assistance to the elderly, veterans, the disabled, and others in need who are experiencing problems related to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Disability and SSI, VA Benefits, Unemployment Compensation, Food Stamps, VA Benefits, and other public benefits to which our clients are lawfully entitled. Our Senior Citizen Unit also provides legal advice and representation to Collier County residents who are 60 years of age or older for all general, civil legal matters.
- Immigration Assistance: Our Immigration Unit assists immigrant victims of domestic violence, victims of human trafficking, and victims of other violent crimes in obtaining lawful immigration status. We also represent abused, abandoned, or neglected immigrant children in their applications for lawful permanent residence. Additionally, our attorneys fight for clients with meritorious defenses such as adjustment, cancellation, and political asylum, in removal proceedings. We also represent TPS applicants, who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country due to dangerous or unsafe conditions.
- Housing Assistance: In response to the overwhelming foreclosure crisis which began in 2008, Legal Aid providing legal assistance to qualifying individuals who are in or near foreclosure. Our services include: eviction defense, educating homeowners about the judicial foreclosure process, representing and assisting homeowners in mediation sessions, providing information on alternatives to foreclosure, identifying fraudulent documentation and other widespread illegal foreclosure practices, and helping homeowners gain crucial time needed to work toward a solution.
- Tax Assistance: Legal Aid’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) assists individuals with a federal income tax controversy up to $50,000. Our attorneys assist with issues such as: Dis-allowance of tax credit; audit assistance; collection issues, including lien and levy; appeals; representation in Federal tax court; assistance in identity theft cases; preparation of amended returns to resolve controversies; and other important issues.