Qualification & Eligibility

Click here to download the Eligibility Information Chart. Generally, households must have gross income below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. Households with income up to 200% of the federal poverty may be accepted in certain situations. Households also must have low resources. The elderly (60 or older) may receive legal advice without regard to their finances. Applicants for service also must meet resource requirements and citizenship requirements.

Sources of Income:

  1. Employment: Gross income is counted. We do not deduct taxes, Social Security, or other withholdings (except garnishments are deducted below).
  2. Public assistance: Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance, Unemployment compensation, Workers’ compensation, Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, and Black Lung benefits are counted as income. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Fuel Assistance, and Cooling Assistance are not counted as income.
  3. Other income: child support, spousal support, retirement, pensions, other disability benefits, interest payments, trust fund payments, money given by family members to help out are counted as income.

Income Deductions:

  1. Back taxes: Regular payments on back taxes.
  2. Child care: Actual cost of employment-related or school-related child care.
  3. Child support: Amount currently paid by court order, wage assignment or voluntarily (as long as the voluntary payments are consistent in time and amount).
  4. Garnished wages: Amount currently being garnished.
  5. Medical expenses – Unreimbursed medical expenses, e.g. for hospitals, doctors, prescriptions.
  6. Transportation: Actual cost of employment-related or school-related transportation, e.g. gas, parking, tolls, bus tickets.
  7. Other significant factors: Additional expenses related to the factors above that the Executive Director determines affect the applicant’s ability to afford legal assistance.

Resource Eligibility:

Assets are defined as cash, checking, savings, CDs, stocks, bonds, houses, cars, boats, etc. – Family residence and one motor vehicle do not count.

CVLAS can only provide services to non-U.S. citizens who:

  1. Have permanent resident status (have a green card), or,
  2. Have a Work Visa, or,
  3. Are married to a U.S. citizen or are the parent of a U.S. citizen or are unmarried, under age 21 & the child of U.S. citizen, and have applied for permanent resident status & have not been rejected, or,
  4. Were admitted as a refugee, granted asylum, or granted withholding from a deportation order, or,
  5. The applicant or applicant’s child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the U.S. and the applicant is seeking assistance necessary to assist the victim from an abusive situation or ameliorate the current effect of the abuse or protect against future abuse.

The legal assistance includes, but is not limited to, obtaining a civil protection order, divorce, child custody, child and spousal support, housing, public benefits, employment, abuse/neglect, juvenile proceedings, small claims cases, contempt actions.

Approved by the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society Board of Directors.