What is the Application Process Like? What Do I Need to Do?
The most important thing is to call us as soon as you recognize you have a legal problem. Our funding requires us to do an extensive screening to see if you qualify. You will need information and have to go through the process before we can provide any service. Let's start with some definitions of terms that we use.
Who is Part of My Household?
ULS defines household as the number of adults and children living with you and who are related by blood or by law as relatives for whom you have a legal duty to support. You are included as a member of your own household, as is your partner if you are legally or common law married. ULS also includes an unmarried partner if you have a minor child in common you are legally obligated to support. However, you should NOT include any roommates or adult children living with you unless you have a legal duty to support them (court ordered guardianship).
What is Gross Monthly Income?
Gross monthly income is your income prior to taxes being taken out and can include disability benefits, income from unemployment, employment or self employment, general assistance, alimony or child support, veterans benefits, worker's compensation,SSI/SSDI,social security, pension, and investments.
What are Assets?
Assets include the value of ALL you personal items such as TV's, computers, sofas, clothing, beds, etc. It also includes cash and money in bank, credit union or other accounts, a second home or other real estate, vehicles, cars, trucks or motorcycles, money in stocks, bonds and certificates of deposit, work-related tools, and any interest in a business.
What Do I Need?
You will need to know information about the gross monthly income and the assets of every member of your household to complete the interview. Please make sure you have this information before you start the process. Once you have this information, there are two ways to apply:
Using the online application is the fastest way to determine if we can help. The Online Eligibility Screening allows you to determine whether you financially qualify for Utah Legal Services (ULS) and if used, gives you priority status when calling us so your wait time will be reduced. It is a secure site so any information transmitted over the online application is secure and confidential. You must have an email address to use this service. The screening process consists of up to 3 steps and may take up to an hour to complete though the online application itself should only take 10-20 minutes to finish. The entire process is as follows:
- You must fill out the online interview that will ask you questions mainly about the problem you have, your gross monthly household income and assets. This interview is available 24/7. This interview will probably take anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes to finish. The interview will let you know if it appears you have the type of problem we can help with and it appears that you financially qualify for our services. If you don't, the process is complete. If you do, you will have to then complete the next two (2) steps.
- At the end of the interview, if it appears that you have the type of problem we can help with and it seems that you financially qualify for our services, you will then need to talk to one of our intake workers, who will verify that we may indeed help you. You will have the choice of talking to us by phone or by online chat. However, the choice of online chat is only available in English and should only be used if you cannot call us. We can handle other languages on the phone via our translator service. This step is available Monday thru Friday, from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm and will probably take somewhere between 10 - 20 minutes to finish. However, if you complete the interview outside of those times, you may fill out the interview and then either call us or return to chat with an intake worker during those times (once you complete the application, these instructions will be emailed to you).
- Finally, if the intake worker verifies that you may qualify for our services, you will be able to talk to an advocate. Generally, this will occur at the same time you are talking to the intake worker, in that you will be directly transferred to an attorney or experienced paralegal. This step will take somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes to finish.
Apply by Phone
We use an "automated attendant" telephone system to route our calls. If you have not contacted us before about your current legal problem, press the number "3" on your telephone keypad. After you press "3", you’ll hear a message about what will happen during the intake process and how to file a complaint if you believe you were not treated properly. There may be a wait before you can speak with someone, perhaps as long as 30 minutes if you call during the busiest times (often on a Tuesday morning after a Monday holiday). Your wait will likely be shortest if you call in the afternoon and in the middle of the week. We do have a call back feature that allows you to put in your phone number and have the system call you back when it is your turn in line.
The first person you will speak with will be an intake worker who will ask you all the information contained in the online application including 1) basic information such as your full name, your date of birth, zip code, and the opposing party’s name; 2) contact information such as your address, telephone numbers where you can be reached; 3) financial information about your household’s income and assets; and 4) information about your legal problem. This interview will probably take anywhere from 15 - 40 minutes to complete.
Based upon all the information you give us, the intake worker may tell you that we cannot assist you with your problem because your income is too high or because we do not help with the type of problem you have. The intake worker might give you a referral to another organization.
The intake worker may also transfer your call to an attorney or specialized paralegal in our office which may take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Some problems can be resolved over the telephone. In urgent circumstances, you may be asked to come into the ULS office nearest you. For example, this will happen if you are being evicted and you must respond to a summons within the next few days. In that case, we will want to review the papers and the circumstances to determine if you have any defense.
We encourage you to Apply Online or call us at 801-328-8891 between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday to see if we can help you.