¿Qué ofrecen los Servicios Legales de Utah?

"Igualar la Justicia Bajo la Ley" es uno de los principios básicos de nuestra nación. Las realidades económicas dejan ésta promesa incumplida con demasiada frecuencia. Servicios Legales de Utah  (ULS) es una oficina legal no lucrativa incorporada en 1976 cometida a igualar la justicia a una realidad, proporcionando ayuda legal gratuita en casos no criminales para personas que habitan en el estado de Utah y de escasos recursos.

ULS sirve a todo el estado con oficinas en la Ciudad de Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo y St.  George.  Las unidades especializadas también sirven a los grupos con necesidades legales especiales incluyendo campesinos migratorios, indios americanos y personas norteamericanas de la tercera edad. Basado en la información del censo del año 2000, Utah tiene 360.000 personas calificadas para la ayuda legal de ULS. (Más de 275.000 en 1990.) Muchas de estas familias pobres viven en distancias alejadas del área metropilitana y dependen de los programas de alcance de ULS.


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assisted "Lisa" who is a disabled lady on Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI); wheelchair-bound and on oxygen 24/7.  "Lisa" received a $42,000 settlement last fall, paid as a result of a death from cancer.  "Lisa" reported the settlement to the Social Security Administration (SSA) as required, but she didn’t understand the rules regarding disposing of a resource.  "Lisa" spent the majority of the money wisely, as required—she bought herself a home to live in, prepaid some expenses for a year, bought some furniture, bought a freezer, filled it with food, etc.  Unfortunately, she also gave approximately $13,000 away to various family members for one reason or another. 

 

As a result, she incurred an SSI overpayment for the months she was over the resource limit of $2,000.  Utah Legal Services was able to get the overpayment waived, but then the really bad news—SSA sanctioned her for giving away part of her resources.  She was terminated from SSI for 19 months.  Of course, she also had no money left from her settlement.  This would have been an extremely harsh blow to her, since she has no other income, is disabled, and relies on oxygen and multiple medications to sustain her life.  ULS called SSA and pointed out their provision in statute which allows an “out” for undue hardship.  Within 30 minutes, ULS received a call from SSA letting us know that "Lisa" would receive the two months’ benefits that had been withheld already, and her benefits would start again immediately.