Legal Services Corporation Would Receive $6 Million Spending Boost in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Bill

November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON – The text of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) FY 2021 bill released today includes $446 million for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). This marks a $6 million increase over LSC’s current funding of $440 million. In July, the House of Representatives passed its CJS FY 2021 appropriations bill which includes $465 million for LSC. 

“We are grateful that the Senate Subcommittee is providing additional support for legal aid to meet the numerous critical civil legal issues faced by low-income Americans,” said LSC President Ronald S. Flagg. “Whether the issue relates to job losses, health care, evictions or domestic violence, having access to a lawyer can make a life-impacting difference. We are hopeful that the final bill emerging from conference will provide a significant increase in funding to enable our grantees to help as many eligible people as possible.”

More than 90% of the appropriation would go to grants that fund the direct delivery of legal assistance. LSC distributes the majority of its funding to 132 independent legal aid organizations serving every county in every state and the territories. These offices provide critical constituent services to low-income Americans.

A 2020 survey found that 58.5 million low-income Americans were eligible for LSC-funded legal assistance. Experts predict that the need for civil legal services will only increase due to the impact of COVID-19, particularly for low-income families facing job losses, evictions and other problems stemming from the pandemic.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.