Metrowest Legal Services –Benefits
MWLS attorneys help individuals and families navigate a complex maze of state and federal laws to access benefits.
We can assist with:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), TAFDC (Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children) & EAEDC (Emergency Assistance to Elderly, Disabled, and Children)
- Unemployment Insurance (UI)
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Our advocates are in constant contact with administrative agencies, pursuing both formal and informal appeals from agency reviews and fair hearings, all the way through to the state and federal court systems. Many of our clients have physical and/or mental disabilities and we work to ensure that these individuals realize full and fair treatment. Few other law offices provide the time, patience and expertise to be successful in this greatly needed, yet not overly serviced, area of law.
No. Due to budget and staffing constraints, not everyone gets access to a MWLS lawyer. Many clients are given advice only or brief service, or are referred to another agency if their legal problem does not fall within our priorities. MWLS has a Pro Bono panel where private lawyers in the community volunteer to accept cases within our program priorities. Applicants must still meet the same financial guidelines as MWLS in-house services. Referrals for pro bono services are made through our office.
If you are over-income, you may contact the Boston Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service or the Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service. You will be referred to an attorney convenient to your home or office, practicing in the area of law you need.
Yes. MWLS has staff fluent in Spanish and Portuguese as well as access to interpreters for clients who speak other languages.
No. MWLS provides these services free of charge.
An intake is a call or in-person meeting with MWLS staff to provide more detail your legal problem. Your information is then given to the appropriate advocate who will then contact you directly.
An intake worker will conduct a screening interview over the phone. We collect basic information during these screening interviews to help us confirm whether you are eligible and if we can help.
All information that you give us, either online, in person, or by phone, is kept confidential.
At Apply for Legal Help, our eligibility form is easy to use! If you are eligible for our services, you will be contacted by an intake worker who will conduct an intake to get more detailed information about you and your legal problem.
If for some reason the online form is not an option, call our office at 508-620-1830 or 1-800-696-1501 to be screened for eligibility.
Our services are available to residents who live in the communities we serve, meet our income guidelines, and whose requests for help fall within the priorities listed in our programs.
MWLS seeks to make legal services available to as many clients as possible. These services may be limited to advice only because we do not have enough staff to handle all of the requests.
If you are not eligible for our services, we may be able to refer you to other agencies or resources who can help you.
If you are a senior citizen, aged 60 or older, a victim of crime or the survivor of a homicide victim there are no income eligibility guidelines to receive our services.
See Eligibility for more details.
We provide services exclusively in civil (non-criminal) matters. Because we do not have the resources to handle every eligible client’s case, our staff must choose those cases in which our representation will have a significant impact on the client. Our priority cases include:
· Public Benefits (including unemployment)
· Elder Law
· Health Care Access
· Domestic Violence
· Immigration Assistance for Victims of Abuse
· Advocacy for Victims of Crime
For a detailed description of the types of cases we handle, see Get Legal Help.