Service Tree

The Service Tree lists all services in "branched" groups, starting with the very general and moving to the very specific. Click on the name of any group name to see the sub-groups available within it. Click on a service code to see its details and the providers who offer that service.

Benefits Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for people who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining grants, payments, services or other benefits for which they are eligible. The programs may help people understand the eligibility criteria for benefits, the benefits provided by the program, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with benefits administration staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are benefits counseling organizations that offer a range of advocacy services and legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.

Certificates/Forms Assistance

Programs that help people obtain, complete and/or file official forms, certificates, documents, applications or other paperwork that is required to apply for benefits or services, initiate or respond to legal action or to officially handle or document the occurrence of a transaction; that help people acquire copies of official documents on file elsewhere; or that review legal documentation an individual has received to help explain its meaning.

Discrimination Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for people who believe that they have been treated unfairly or denied normal privileges based on their age, gender, race or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, sexual orientation or marital status.

Elder Law

Programs that provide information and guidance for individuals who need assistance in the area of law which relates to the rights and needs of older adults, especially in the areas of age discrimination, consumer fraud, estate planning and management, living trusts, trust administration, probate, property law, retirement planning, pension benefits, Social Security benefits, Medicaid and Medicare, disability planning, long-term care alternatives, health care decisions, elder abuse, guardianships and conservatorships.

Environmental Law

Programs that provide assistance for people who are involved in disputes relating to laws that are intended to protect the environment. Individual cases may deal with disputes relating to land use, zoning decisions, air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, soil contamination, treatment of endangered species, wetlands management and other issues that have an impact on the environment.

Estate Planning Assistance

Programs that offer a review of options and assistance to people who want to provide for the administration and/or protection of their assets during their lifetime, develop a plan for managing their finances in the event of a disabling illness, prepare binding instructions for the health care they wish to receive or avoid should they become terminally ill, make arrangements for the disposition of their assets with a minimum amount of taxation upon their death and provide for the administration of their estate should their spouse or other beneficiaries be incapable of managing their affairs. Estate planning provides an opportunity for individuals to make their wishes known and to name the person(s) who will be responsible for carrying out those directives. Tools available during the estate planning process include a Last Will and Testament, durable power of attorney for health care, durable financial power of attorney and a directive to physicians such as a living will, natural death directive or other state-recognized document. A revocable living trust may also be appropriate in some circumstances.

Ex-Offender Legal Assistance

Programs that provide legal assistance for people who recently have been released from a correctional facility and need advice related to their status as ex-offenders.

Family Law

Programs that provide assistance for people who are involved in disputes or legal actions which affect their domestic relationships.

General Legal Aid

Programs that provide legal counseling and/or representation for low-income individuals who need assistance in routine legal matters, usually in the area of bankruptcy, housing, public benefits, family law, elder law or immigration/naturalization.

Identification Application Assistance

Programs that assist individuals who have inadequate or no ID, particularly those who are homeless or have little or no income, to obtain or replace identifying documents. May include assisting clients with application forms, filing and paying for applications on the client's behalf, providing a mailing address when necessary for delivery, and offering ongoing safe storage for the documents.

Immigration/Naturalization Adjudication Offices

Organizations that administer the immigration and naturalization laws which relate to the admission of aliens, adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence, extension or change of nonimmigrant status, removal of aliens and naturalization of non-citizens; which provide information and guidance for people who want to permission to enter the United States; and/or which help interested parties become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Immigration/Naturalization Legal Services

Programs that provide legal assistance for immigrants, nonimmigrant visa applicants, asylum seekers and lawful permanent residents who are seeking naturalization. Services are generally provided by nonprofit immigration law offices and may involve information and consultation about benefits under immigration law including procedures for obtaining student, visitor and employment-based visas; family immigration; asylee status; lawful permanent residence status; or citizenship.

Insurance Law

Programs that provide assistance for people who want to appeal the denial of automobile, health, homeowners, renters or life insurance or cutbacks in insurance benefits; who need to file an insurance claim; or who need to initiate or respond to litigation regarding the settlement of an insurance claim.

Labor and Employment Law

Programs that provide legal assistance for people who want to establish employment practices that will minimize or eliminate problems in the employment area or who need to resolve a dispute or initiate or respond to litigation which relates to their role as employers or employees, their rights and obligations. Labor and employment law deals with a variety of issues including ADA compliance, wage and hour compliance, workplace health and safety, interview and hiring practices, employee contracts, employee benefits, maternity/paternity leaves, medical leaves, supervision and discipline, workplace privacy, workplace violence, sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

Labor Relations

Programs that provide assistance for employer and employee groups who are in the process of negotiating, fixing, maintaining, changing or arranging the terms, tenure, hours, wages, fringe benefits or conditions of employment. Included are programs that protect the employee's right to organize, oversee the union election process, and settle disputes between labor and management groups as well as those that provide technical assistance for labor and management groups to help them develop and maintain effective working relationships and avoid controversies before they arise.

Landlord/Tenant Assistance

Programs that provide assistance, information and support for tenants and/or landlords who are involved in rental housing disputes; or which administer state laws or local ordinances which govern rent control and other aspects of tenant/landlord relations.

Lawyer Referral Services

Programs that maintain lists of private attorneys and link people who need legal assistance with lawyers who specialize in the required area of law.

Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs

Programs that investigate and attempt to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents of nursing facilities, residential care homes, assisted living facilities and other supervised living facilities for older adults. The program also promotes policies and practices that improve the quality of life, health, safety, welfare and rights of residents; monitors laws, regulations and policies that affect those who live in long-term care facilities; provides the public with information about long-term care options; and promotes the development of consumer organizations concerned about long-term care. Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long term care system.

Native American/Tribal Law

Programs that provide assistance for Native Americans who need legal advice or representation regarding federal recognition, treaty rights, fishing and hunting rights, environmental protection, reservation boundaries, land acquisition, land and water rights, Indian gaming, housing, health, taxation or jurisdictional questions. Attorneys who practice in this area are concerned with the treaties, statutes, executive orders, court decisions and administrative actions that define the relationship among the United States, Indian tribes and individuals, and the states. Native American law attorneys are found in federal government bodies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and The Indian Claims Commission, which hears and determines claims against the United States on behalf of any Indian tribe. Private law firms also have lawyers who specialize in matters relating to Indian lands and reservations, tribal rights and other legal issues affecting Native Americans. Specific Indian tribes, which are recognized as sovereign entities with the power to regulate their internal and social organization, have lawyers who may be members of the tribe themselves, and/or lawyers who are hired as "general counsel" to handle the legal affairs of their tribe. Public service agencies also serve the Native American community with lawyers who specialize in the Indian Child Welfare Act, and others who serve children, people who are elderly, or indigent members of the Native American community.

Probate Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for people who are involved in proceedings that deal with the establishment of decedents' wills, the settlement of decedents' estates or the appointment of a guardian or conservator for adults or children who are unable to manage their own affairs.

School System Advocacy

Programs that assist families in their interactions with the school system which may include help with school registration, enrollment of children in special programs, intervention on behalf of students facing disciplinary action or expulsion and other activities which facilitate communication between families and school staff.

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