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Access to Public Benefits & Civil Legal Services

Public benefits consist of a wide range of programs that support individuals financially, helping cover food, housing, healthcare, and other living costs. Government assistance is not always accessible. The application process may require access to technology and information only provided online or only in English. Other barriers include negative stigma surrounding receiving "welfare", long applications, interviews, lack of transport to agencies, etc. Access to civil legal services can be limited for the same reasons. Low and middle-income individuals have limited access to legal services because of cost. Without access to legal assistance, it is much more difficult to navigate the court system and manage family and business legal matters.

Local Examples of Access to Public Benefits 

Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services provides free legal assistance for low-income individuals. In 2021 Charleston School of Law partnered with the nonprofit to help low-income families in housing disputes, often fought without legal representation.

(Grace Beahm Alford)

Click the links below to learn more about how this is a harm

Public Benefits

Civil Legal Services

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