What If I Don’t Qualify?

Civil legal aid helps people with non-criminal issues, including family, housing, consumer, healthcare, benefits, employment, and educational services.

Most people do not qualify for free civil legal aid.

Most civil legal aid and pro bono agencies serve people who earn 125% or below of the federal poverty guideline**

Size of Family UnitAnnual Amount125%Weekly Amount
1$12,140$15,175$292
2$16,460$20,575$396
3$20,780$25,975$500
4$25,100$31,375$604
5$29,420$36,775$708
6$33,740$42,175$812
7$38,060$47,575$915
8$42,380$52,975$1,019
For each additional person, add$4,320$5,400$104

Even if you have a low income, it does not guarantee service from a legal aid or pro bono agency.  Legal aid agencies have limited staff and resources and do not cover all legal issues.  Pro bono agencies offer legal services for limited issues with volunteer lawyers.  These agencies are not able to serve everyone who applies.

If you don’t qualify for free civil legal aid:

Before considering going to court without a lawyer, try all your other options first. You would not consider fixing your own car or doing surgery on your own unless you were educated, skilled and practiced.  Working in the legal system is the same.  In court you must be prepared and understand all the deadlines, papers to file, steps to take and procedures to follow.

If you decide to represent yourself in court:

  • Observe court sessions before appearing in court for the first time
  • Research and read everything you can on your subject
  • Find a lawyer who will talk to you and give you brief advice to prepare for court

See the Indiana Supreme Court’s page on representing yourself in court:  https://www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/2361.htm