Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. Thanks House Ways & Means Committee for Budget Recommendation for Civil Legal Aid

Media Contact:

Catherine Rizos
617-391-5627
crizos@mlac.org

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. Thanks House Ways & Means Committee for Budget Recommendation for Civil Legal Aid

BOSTON, April 13, 2016― The House Ways & Means Committee recommended $18 million for civil legal aid funding in its Fiscal Year 2017 budget issued today, an increase of $1 million over FY16. This recommendation is a positive step in the direction of the $10 million increase in civil legal aid funding sought by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC). Given the great depth of unmet need among those seeking civil legal aid, and the significant return on investment yielded by civil legal aid funding, MLAC will continue to advocate for the full $10 million increase, for a total appropriation of $27 million.

“We appreciate the increase included in the House Ways and Means Committee budget recommendations, and we applaud efforts by House leaders to align public spending with effective, successful programs such as civil legal aid. Our 14 community-based programs across Massachusetts assist low-income people seeking to resolve civil legal issues related to basic necessities such as housing, employment, classroom accommodations for children with disabilities, and conflicts related to domestic violence, child support and custody, and divorce,” said Lonnie Powers, executive director of MLAC. “Additionally, civil legal aid yields significant economic returns for our clients and the state.”

This past February, MLAC released its annual Economic Benefits Report, which showed that civil legal aid assistance provided by MLAC-funded programs in fiscal year 2015 yielded at least $35.1 million in savings or new revenue for the state.

Successful representation in appeals to Social Security Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare coverage, and federal tax decisions resulted in $13.5 million in new federal revenue for the Commonwealth. An additional $9.9 million was gained through child support orders, debt relief for homeowners in foreclosure cases, and additional non-federal Unemployment Insurance claims and representation for tenants. The state saved $11.6 million in services that it would have otherwise provided if not for civil legal aid. These services include emergency shelter, foster care, and medical costs related to domestic violence.

The request for a $10 million increase in civil legal aid funding is based on a recommendation by the Boston Bar Association’s Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, which issued a report in 2014 that found that more than 60 percent of those eligible for civil legal aid are turned away due to a lack of resources. The report called for an additional state investment of $30 million in civil legal aid in Massachusetts, to be implemented in $10 million increments over three years.

Representative Ruth Balser will file an amendment to increase the House Ways & Means recommendation by $9 million, for a total appropriation of $27 million, as the House budget is debated. This funding increase would be an important step in addressing the significant unmet need among those who are eligible for and seek civil legal aid.  Eligible residents are those with incomes below 125 percent of the federal poverty level, or $584 per week for a family of four.

“Legal aid organizations serve our most vulnerable residents, and we must ensure that these programs have the resources they need,” said Marijane Benner Browne, chair of the MLAC Board of Directors. “Access to legal advice and representation should not be dependent on income. As we move forward, we must do everything we can to make equitable access to justice a reality in the Commonwealth.”

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ABOUT MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts.

New Report Shows Civil Legal Aid Generates Millions in New Revenue and Cost Savings for Massachusetts

BOSTON, February 16, 2016 – Massachusetts civil aid programs generated an estimated $35.1 million in new revenue and cost savings for the Commonwealth in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, according to a new report by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC).

The state appropriation for MLAC in fiscal year 2015 was $14.7 million, reflecting a 1.79% mid-year cut to the initial appropriation of $15 million.

“Providing relief from the suffering experienced from domestic violence; resolving child custody disputes; retaining housing; or regaining access to improperly denied benefits such as unemployment insurance or Medicaid is reason enough for the Commonwealth to invest in civil legal aid for low income people,” said Lonnie Powers, executive director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. “But this report clearly shows that the state’s investment yields significant economic benefits, and public spending on effective, successful civil legal aid programs not only improves lives, it also provides immediate savings.”

The report is based on data submitted to MLAC by the 14 civil legal aid programs it funds in the Commonwealth.

Key findings include:

• Civil legal aid programs brought at least $13.5 million in new federal dollars to Massachusetts. Specific sources included: $7.4 million increase in federal nutrition assistance benefits (SNAP); $5.2 million from successful representation in federal disability benefits appeals (SSI/SSDI); $182,962 from successful representation in Medicare coverage appeals; and $760,966 for successful representation in federal tax appeals.
• Civil legal aid programs secured $9.9 million in additional financial support for low-income residents, including $3 million in rent relief and moving expenses for tenants in eviction cases; $2.6 million in compensation and debt relief for homeowners and former homeowners in foreclosure cases; $2.2 million in child support orders obtained; and $2.1 million in Unemployment Insurance benefits that were won on appeal.
• Civil legal aid programs saved the Commonwealth $11.6 million, including $7.3 million in avoided shelter and health care costs through preserving housing for low-income residents facing eviction; $2.9 million in avoided medical and mental health care costs through domestic violence prevention; and $1.4 million in foster care costs through obtaining custody orders for unaccompanied immigrant minors.

The full report and a one-page summary are available at: http://mlac.org/resources/research/

About MLAC
The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. It is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.mlac.org.

MLAC Statement on Governor Baker’s Budget Recommendation

Media Contact:

Catherine Rizos
617-391-5627
crizos@mlac.org

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Statement on Governor Baker’s Budget Recommendation

BOSTON, January 27, 2016―Today, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker released his FY2017 budget with a recommendation to fund services for civil legal aid in FY2017 at $17,170,000, an increase of $170,000 over FY2016. Currently, more than 60 percent of those eligible for civil legal aid in Massachusetts who seek services are turned away due to lack of resources. Given the great depth of unmet need among those seeking civil legal aid, and the significant return on investment yielded by civil legal aid funding, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) will continue to advocate for a $10 million increase, for a total appropriation of $27 million.

Tomorrow, Chief Justice Ralph Gants of the Supreme Judicial Court and Attorney General Maura Healey will join hundreds of private attorneys from more than 40 law firms at the Massachusetts State House for the 17th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid. Attendees of this annual lobby day, one of the largest held at the State House each year, will request a $10 million increase in state funding for MLAC, which disburses the state’s civil legal aid funding to 14 civil legal aid programs across the state. With this increased investment, civil legal aid programs can begin to address the shortages in staff and other resources that prevent them from serving eligible clients/residents.

“Civil legal aid is integral to helping low-income people deal with the crises that confront them in everyday life,” said Lonnie Powers, executive director of MLAC. “Civil legal aid helps the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents avoid homelessness and unemployment, gain access to health care and veterans’ services, receive a quality education, and escape domestic violence—and does so in a cost-effective manner.”

The request for a $10 million increase in civil legal aid funding is based on a recommendation by the Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, which issued a report in 2014 that determined civil legal aid is unavailable to the majority of qualified residents who seek it. The report called for an additional state investment of $30 million in civil legal aid in Massachusetts.

The Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts was created by the Boston Bar Association in April 2013 to assess the work of civil legal aid in Massachusetts and determine how best to address unmet civil legal aid needs.

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ABOUT MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.mlac.org.

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Launches New Website

Media Contact:
Catherine Rizos
617-391-5627
crizos@mlac.org

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Launches New Website

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation invites visitors to connect with resources, program information, and news about civil legal aid

BOSTON, December 17, 2015 – The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the largest funding source for civil legal aid in the Commonwealth, announced today the launch of its newly redesigned website. The revamped site is easy to navigate, provides a simple web-based referral service, and highlights the work of the legal services programs MLAC supports.

The website boasts a modern design, with a clean layout and visuals that capture the heart of what civil legal aid is about: helping clients. The home page quickly links those looking for legal services for low-income people with local legal aid programs, as well as online resources like the Legal Resource Finder, and MassLegalHelp.org. By providing clear direction on where to find legal services and information, potential clients can more easily find answers to questions about their issue.

While the 14 programs supported by MLAC focus on different regions and issue areas, the programs are tied together by their commitment to an equitable and accessible justice system. The website serves as a space to explore the common threads that connect the programs, and contains a blog and program news section to share updates, success stories, and new ideas about civil legal aid. The site also functions smoothly with social media platforms, allowing ideas to be shared within and beyond the legal services community.

“We are excited about the launch of our new website and the easy access to information about our programs that it provides,” said Lonnie A. Powers, Executive Director of MLAC. “By connecting clients, legal services organizations, and the public with resources on civil legal aid, our new website is just one of the many steps we are taking to move closer to equal justice for all.”

ABOUT MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. For more information, visit http://www.mlac.org.

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Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Board Welcomes Appointment of Three New Members

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Board Welcomes Appointment of Three New Members Bilek, Rafik, and Stone Appointed by Supreme Judicial Court BOSTON, December 1, 2015 – The board of directors of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC), the largest funding source for civil legal aid in the Commonwealth, welcomes three new members, Mary Lu Bilek, Mala […]

MLAC Urges State Senate to Increase Investment in Civil Legal Aid

Media Contact:
Catherine Rizos
617-391-5627
crizos@mlac.org

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. Urges State Senate to Increase Investment in Civil Legal Aid

BOSTON, May 13, 2015 – The Senate Ways & Means Committee recommended $15 million for civil legal aid funding in its Fiscal Year 2016 budget issued yesterday. This amount is significantly less than MLAC requested, and falls far short of what is needed to address the profound access to justice gap that exists for low-income individuals and families in the Commonwealth. Given the depth of unmet need, and the significant return on investment yielded by civil legal aid funding, MLAC will continue to advocate for additional funding.

MLAC disburses the state’s civil legal aid funding to 14 civil legal aid programs across the state that assist low-income individuals and families in resolving issues related to basic necessities such as housing, employment, classroom accommodations for children with disabilities, and conflicts related to child support and custody, divorce, and domestic violence.

“Civil legal aid is a proven solution, both social and fiscal, to the Commonwealth’s most challenging problems. In these difficult fiscal times, the state’s allocation of resources should support programs that make the lives of our residents and communities better, and that yield a significant return on taxpayers’ investment,” said Lonnie Powers, MLAC Executive Director. “Civil legal aid gives thousands of low-income residents across Massachusetts access to legal help as they seek to escape intimate partner violence or overcome barriers to employment, education, or quality healthcare.”

Sen. William Brownsberger will file an amendment to increase legal aid funding by $5 million. The additional funding is needed to begin addressing the significant unmet need among those who are eligible for and seek civil legal aid. Eligible residents are those with incomes below 125 percent of the federal poverty level, or $583 per week for a family of four.

Currently, more than 60 percent of those eligible for civil legal aid in Massachusetts who seek services are turned away due to lack of resources. To bridge this gap in access to justice, MLAC requested a $10 million increase in the state’s investment in civil legal aid, from $15 million to $25 million.

Earlier this year, MLAC released its annual Economic Benefits report, which demonstrated that successful representation in appeals to Social Security Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare coverage, and federal tax decisions resulted in $8.6 million in new federal revenue for the Commonwealth. An additional $11.6 million was gained through child support orders, debt relief for homeowners in foreclosure cases, and additional non-federal Unemployment Insurance claims and representation for tenants. The state saved $13.5 million in services that it would have otherwise provided if not for civil legal aid: emergency shelter, foster care, and medical costs related to domestic violence. All told, the state’s $15 million investment in civil legal aid last year yielded at least $33.7 million in savings or new revenue for the state.

“Equitable access to our justice system should not be out of reach for our low-income residents. Often, it is what prevents them from cycling further down into poverty and instability,” said Marijane Benner Browne, chair of the MLAC Board of Directors. “As we move forward, we must ensure that legal aid organizations across the Commonwealth have the resources they need to serve our most vulnerable residents.”

The request for a significant increase to MLAC’s budget appropriation is based on a recommendation by the Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, which determined that civil legal aid is unavailable to the majority of qualified residents who seek it. The Task Force’s comprehensive report, issued in 2014, called for an additional state investment of $30 million in civil legal aid in Massachusetts, beginning with a $10 million dollar increase in FY 16.

The Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts was created by the Boston Bar Association in April 2013 to assess the work of civil legal aid in Massachusetts and determine how best to address unmet civil legal aid needs.

ABOUT MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.mlac.org.

MLAC congratulates Access to Justice Award winners

Statement by Lonnie A. Powers, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation on Access to Justice Award Winners

BOSTON, May 8, 2015 — The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation congratulates all the Access to Justice Award winners honored at the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Annual Dinner, held on May 7. Among those honored were two members of the legal services community, Elizabeth Toulan, an attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services, who received the Legal Services Award; and National Consumer Law Center Executive Director Will Ogburn, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo was also honored with the MBA President’s Award. “Elizabeth and Will represent the best of the legal services community. Their dedication to increasing access to justice for all in the Commonwealth, and particularly for low-income individuals and families, serves as a model for all of us,” said MLAC Executive Director Lonnie Powers. “In addition, we offer our sincere congratulations to Speaker DeLeo, who has been a vital partner in the effort to protect our state’s most vulnerable residents, and ensure that they have access to legal advice and representation when facing critical civil issues related to life’s most basic necessities.”

Majority of House Members Support Increased Investment in Civil Legal Aid

Media Contact:
Catherine Rizos
617-391-5627
crizos@mlac.org

Majority of House Members Support Increased Investment in Civil Legal Aid

BOSTON, April 23, 2015 – The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) announced today that a majority of representatives from every region of the state have signed on as sponsors of an amendment filed by Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton). The amendment would increase funding for civil legal aid in the Commonwealth by $5 million for a total appropriation of $22 million for FY16. Over 80 representatives have signed amendment number 440.

On April 15, the House Ways and Means Committee released a proposed budget for the House of Representatives that would modestly increase the state’s investment in civil legal aid by $2 million, from $15 million to $17 million. Given the great depth of unmet need among those seeking civil legal aid, however, and the significant return on investment yielded by civil legal aid funding, additional funding is needed.

Currently, more than 60 percent of those eligible for civil legal aid in Massachusetts who seek services are turned away due to lack of resources. Meanwhile, the state’s $15 million investment in civil legal aid last year yielded at least $33.7 million in savings or new revenue for the state.

“It is encouraging to see the amount of support for Rep. Balser’s amendment calling for an increased investment in civil legal aid,” said Lonnie Powers, MLAC Executive Director. “Civil legal aid is a proven solution, both social and fiscal, to the Commonwealth’s most challenging problems. In these difficult fiscal times, the state’s allocation of resources should support programs that make the lives of our residents and communities better, and that yield a significant return on taxpayers’ investment.”

The state’s allocation for civil legal aid is disbursed by MLAC to 14 civil legal aid programs across the state that assist low-income individuals and families in resolving issues related to basic necessities such as housing, employment, classroom accommodations for children with disabilities, and conflicts related to domestic violence, child support and custody, and divorce.

“Equitable access to our justice system should not be out of reach for our low-income residents,” said Marijane Benner Browne, chair of the MLAC Board of Directors. “As we move forward, we must ensure that legal aid organizations across the Commonwealth have the resources they need to serve our most vulnerable residents.”

This year’s request for an increase to MLAC’s budget appropriation stems from a recommendation by the Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, which determined that civil legal aid is unavailable to the majority of qualified residents who seek it. The Task Force’s comprehensive report, issued in 2014, called for an additional state investment of $30 million in civil legal aid in Massachusetts to be implemented over a three-year period.

The Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts was created by the Boston Bar Association in April 2013 to assess the work of civil legal aid in Massachusetts and determine how best to address unmet civil legal aid needs.

ABOUT MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.mlac.org.

House Ways & Means recommends $17 million for civil legal aid

Media Contact:
Catherine Rizos
617-391-5627
crizos@mlac.org

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. Statement on House Ways & Means Budget Recommendation to Increase Funding for Civil Legal Aid

BOSTON, April 15, 2015 – The House Ways & Means Committee recommended $17 million for civil legal aid funding in its Fiscal Year 2016 budget issued today. This amount is $2 million more than last year’s appropriation and a positive step in the direction of the $25 million originally requested by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC).

MLAC disburses the state’s civil legal aid funding to 14 civil legal aid programs across the state that assist low-income individuals and families in resolving issues related to basic necessities such as housing, employment, classroom accommodations for children with disabilities, and conflicts related to child support and custody, divorce, and domestic violence.

“Civil legal aid is one of our most potent tools in fighting poverty, as it gives thousands of low-income residents across Massachusetts access to legal help as they seek to escape intimate partner violence or overcome barriers to employment, education, or quality healthcare,” said Lonnie Powers, MLAC Executive Director. “At the same time, state investments in civil legal aid yield significant economic returns for our clients and the state.”

The Commonwealth should support programs that not only make the lives of our residents and communities better, but also those that yield a return on investment. Earlier this year, MLAC released its annual Economic Benefits Report, which demonstrated that successful representation in appeals to Social Security Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare coverage, and federal tax decisions resulted in $8.6 million in new federal revenue for the Commonwealth. An additional $11.6 million was gained through child support orders, debt relief for homeowners in foreclosure cases, and additional non-federal Unemployment Insurance claims and representation for tenants. The state saved $13.5 million in services that it would have otherwise provided if not for civil legal aid: emergency shelter, foster care, and medical costs related to domestic violence. All told, the state’s $15 million investment in civil legal aid last year yielded at least $33.7 million in savings or new revenue for the state.

Currently, more than 60 percent of those eligible for civil legal aid in Massachusetts who seek services are turned away due to lack of resources. To bridge this gap in access to justice, MLAC had requested a $10 million increase in the state’s investment in civil legal aid, from $15 million to $25 million .

The request for a significant increase to MLAC’s budget appropriation stems from a recommendation by the Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, which determined that civil legal aid is unavailable to the majority of qualified residents who seek it. The Task Force’s comprehensive report, issued in 2014, called for an additional state investment of $30 million in civil legal aid in Massachusetts, beginning with a $10 million increase in FY 16.

The Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts was created by the Boston Bar Association in April 2013 to assess the work of civil legal aid in Massachusetts and determine how best to address unmet civil legal aid needs.

With great consideration given to the fiscal challenges faced by the state, Representative Ruth Balser will file an amendment to increase the House Ways & Means recommendation by $5 million, for a total appropriation of $22 million, as the House budget is debated. Though less than MLAC’s original budget request, this funding increase would be an important first step in addressing the significant unmet need among those who are eligible for and seek civil legal aid. Eligible residents are those with incomes below 125 percent of the federal poverty level, or $583 per week for a family of four.

“Equitable access to our justice system should not be out of reach for our low-income residents. Often, it is what prevents them from cycling further down into poverty and instability,” said Marijane Benner Browne, chair of the MLAC Board of Directors. “As we move forward, we must ensure that legal aid organizations across the Commonwealth have the resources they need to serve our most vulnerable residents.”

ABOUT MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.mlac.org.

MLAC statement on Gov. Baker’s FY16 budget, which provides level funding for civil legal aid

Media Contact:
Catherine Rizos
617-391-5627
crizos@mlac.org

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. Statement on Gov. Baker’s Budget Recommendation to Maintain Funding for Civil Legal Aid

BOSTON, March 4, 2015 – Today, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker released his FY2016 budget with a recommendation to fund services for civil legal aid in FY2016 at the FY2015 rate, which reflects a $268,000 cut approved in February. Amid an austere budget climate, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC) appreciates Governor Baker’s funding recommendation. However, given the great depth of unmet need among those seeking civil legal aid, and the significant return on investment yielded by civil legal aid funding, MLAC will continue to advocate for its full funding request of $25 million.

Currently, more than 60 percent of those eligible for civil legal aid in Massachusetts who seek services are turned away due to lack of resources. To bridge this gap in access to justice, MLAC is requesting a $10 million increase in the state’s investment in civil legal aid, from $15 million to $25 million.

“Civil legal aid is a crucial safety net for thousands of low-income residents across Massachusetts, giving them access to legal help as they seek to escape intimate partner violence or overcome barriers to employment, education, or quality healthcare,” said Lonnie Powers, MLAC Executive Director. “Increasing funding for civil legal aid saves the state money. For example, every dollar spent on legal aid to keep people from losing their homes saves the state more than two dollars in homeless benefits.”

Civil legal aid programs assist low-income individuals and families in resolving issues related to basic necessities such as housing, employment, classroom accommodations for children with disabilities, and conflicts related to child support and custody, divorce, and domestic violence. MLAC, which disburses the state’s civil legal aid funding to grantees, is seeking a $10 million increase in civil legal aid funding to make adequate grants to 16 civil legal aid programs across the state so they can address the shortages in staff and other resources that prevent them from serving all eligible clients/residents.

The request for a $10 million increase to MLAC’s budget is based on a recommendation by the Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts, which last year issued a report that determined civil legal aid is unavailable to the majority of qualified residents who seek it. The report called for an additional state investment of $30 million in civil legal aid in Massachusetts, beginning with a $10 million dollar increase in FY 16.

The Statewide Task Force to Expand Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts was created by the Boston Bar Association in April 2013 to assess the work of civil legal aid in Massachusetts and determine how best to address unmet civil legal aid needs.

Three independent economic consulting firms which did analyses for the Task Force found that every dollar spent on civil legal aid in eviction and foreclosure cases saved the state $2.69 on state services associated with housing needs such as “emergency shelter, health care, foster care, and law enforcement.” Every dollar spent on assisting qualified people to receive federal benefits brings in $5 to the state and its residents. Lastly, every dollar spent on civil legal aid related to domestic violence is offset by a dollar in medical costs averted due to fewer incidents of assault.

“Equitable access to our justice system should not be out of reach for our low-income residents. Often, it is what prevents them from cycling further down into poverty and instability,” said Marijane Benner Browne, chair of the MLAC Board of Directors. “As we move forward, we must ensure that legal aid organizations across the Commonwealth have the resources they need to serve our most vulnerable residents.”

ABOUT MLAC

The Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation was established by the state legislature in 1983 to ensure that low-income people with critical, non-criminal legal problems would have access to legal information, advice and representation. MLAC is the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.mlac.org.