New Grants, More Legal Aid

Posted on December 16, 2017

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By Al Parker

South Carolina Legal Services (SCLS) recently signed contracts with all ten Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in South Carolina to provide legal services to seniors over the age of 60 in the state.   These AAAs are Central Midlands Council of Governments, Waccamaw Area Agency on Aging, Appalachian Council of Governments, Lower Savannah Council of Governments, Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Vantage Point (Division of CareSouth Carolina, Inc.), Trident Area Agency on Aging, Catawba Area Agency on Aging, Santee-Lynches Council of Governments, and Lowcountry Council of Governments.

Under the contracts, SCLS may assist seniors in the following areas: Income, Health Care, Long-Term Care, Nutrition, Housing, Utilities, Protective Services, Defense of Guardianship, Abuse, Neglect, and Age Discrimination.  While we do not base eligibility on a person’s income or resources, the contract requires that we direct services to those persons 60 years of age or older who are in the greatest social and/or economic need.  We pay particular attention to low-income older individuals, including low-income minority older individuals, older individuals with limited English proficiency, and older individuals residing in rural areas.  SCLS is also available to provide legal education to any groups who work with seniors or to senior groups. Requests for presentations may be sent to andrealoney@sclegal.org.

 

SCLS was also recently awarded a grant by the SC Attorney General’s Office under the Victims of Crimes Act Program (VOCA) for the 2017-2018 grant year to automate the pleadings and forms necessary to file a petition for an order of protection in Family Court.   These automated forms, once completed, will walk a domestic violence survivor through a step-by-step process of completing an order of protection petition to be filed in Family Court. The forms may be used by victims’ advocates throughout the state. SCLS is seeking family court attorneys to voluntarily assist with the development of the order of protection documents.

SCLS currently has automated divorce forms on its website to assist pro se litigants in filing for a divorce on the grounds of one year separation. The forms may only be used if there are no minor children, and no property or debts to be divided. SCLS also collaborated with the SC Centers for Fathers and Families to automate forms for visitation and child support modifications.  These interactive forms may be accessed here: https://www.lawhelp.org/sc/self-help-forms.

If you need legal help, you can apply online here https://www.lawhelp.org/sc/online-intake or call our intake office at 1-888-346-5592, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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