LSC Receives $25 Million Spending Boost in U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee Bill

July 8, 2020

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) passed the FY 2021 funding bill today, providing $465 million for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). This is an increase of $25 million over LSC’s current appropriation. If enacted, this would mark the third time in four years that LSC received a $25 million increase over the prior year. This latest increase comes even though the total FY 2021 bill allocates 2.3% less than last year. 

“We are grateful that the House 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.”

More than 90% of the appropriation would be allocated for 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 legal aid 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 increase due to the impact of COVID-19, particularly for low-income families facing job losses, evictions, domestic violence and other problems stemming from the pandemic. This funding would help legal aid organizations assist individuals with legal problems that threaten their safety, shelter and economic security.

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.