Note: ILS has many special projects with financial and case type eligibility guidelines which differ from the information provided below. For example, our Low Income Taxpayer Clinic is allowed to represent individuals with household incomes up to 250% of federal poverty (and higher in some cases) and without regard to assets, as is our LGBT Project. 

In general, an applicant is financially eligible for legal assistance from Indiana Legal Services if that person's income is within 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The PDF chart below shows the 125% income level. (For general information about the Federal Poverty Guidelines, see Frequently Asked Questions). As an example, an applicant who has two people in her household (including herself) can earn up to $1,638.58 per month and still be financially eligible for ILS services.  These guidelines were approved by the ILS Board of DIrectors on March 9, 2018.

In certain circumstances, an applicant can be financially eligible for assistance from Indiana Legal Services if the applicant is within 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. So an applicant may be financially eligible even if the applicant's income is higher than the income listed above. Eligibility under the 200% income guidelines depends on the applicant's expenses and type of legal problem. The Income Guideline PDF also lists these numbers. There are other eligibility requirements in addition to income requirements. Some of these rules are:

  • To be eligible, an applicant must not have $8,000 or more in a bank account.

  • The equity in the applicant's home will not make the applicant ineligible, but if the applicant owns another piece of real estate that might make the applicant ineligible.

  • Generally, ILS will not handle fee-generating cases unless no private attorneys will take the case.

  • ILS will generally not handle cases to establish paternity over a child or to get child support under an existing order. (The prosecutor's office will typically handle these cases).

  • ILS does not handle criminal cases or cases involving juvenile delinquency.

  • ILS may provide legal assistance to a group, corporation, association or other organization if the group is composed primarily of eligible persons and the group cannot afford to hire private counsel. The group's activities must fall within LSC regulations and ILS priorities.