Do I Qualify?


Utah Legal Services (ULS) uses three different criteria to determine if they can help you.  They are:

  1. Citizenship/Legal residency.  In general, you must be a citizen or permanent legal residence, unless your case is a result of domestic violence, such as in protective order cases.
  2. Financial.  You must be a low-income Utahn to qualify for our help. The financial criteria is based upon your household size, the household's gross income, and the household's assets.  In most cases, income must be at or below 125% of the current federal poverty level for the household’s size.
  3. Type of case.  Overall, there are over 360,000 Utahns who are financially eligible for legal help from ULS.  As a result, we must limit the types of cases we can take.  Therefore, you must have a type of problem that is within our current list of priority cases.  You may click here for a list of the type of cases we currently handle.

Note:  Under some circumstances, such as in protective order cases or seniors, a person may qualify without regard to the household’s financial circumstances.  

We encourage you to call us to see if we can help you.  We take new calls between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday. 


Other information available:



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.