Legal Aid helps vulnerable adults and families living with the constant stress of being unable to make ends meet. Programs designed to provide modest assistance have their own complex rules and regulations. We help people navigate through the safety net assistance system and enforce their legal rights so they can stay on their feet until things improve.


Legal Aid helps family overcome food insecurity

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When the Garza family was told their young son had diabetes they immediately applied for health insurance coverage. This additional expense meant they would have an even more difficult time making ends meet. The Garzas were living in a studio apartment with another family, and Mr. Garza was the only family member with a job; earning about $400 per month.

 

How Legal Aid Helped

Because the Garza's two small children are the only US Citizens in the family, they were uncomfortable applying for any government benefits. As the result of a LIBRE Project outreach event at Hoover Community School, the family learned they could access government benefits and made an appointment with a Legal Aid attorney. 

Through The LIBRE Project, Legal Aid helped the Garza family navigate the complicated and intimidating process of obtaining public benefits and helped resolve their fears about the effects on their immigration status and adjustment. The Legal Aid attorney met with the Garzas at an intake location close to their home and explained their eligibility for CalWORKs and CalFresh for the children. The attorney advised them that obtaining assistance for their children would not affect their immigration status and guided the family through the application process.  

 

Three weeks after meeting with the LIBRE attorney, the Garza family's application was approved or both Food Stamps and CalWORKs. The family can now put food on the table and pay for the health insurance coverage their son so desperately needs.


Legal Aid's Income Support Programs

Clients' Rights Advocate Program

Provides legal services to adults with disabilities in San Mateo County.  The program focuses on issues of eligibility, due process rights, and access to public services and benefits.

 

The LIBRE Project (Linking Immigrants to Benefits and
Resources)

Helps immigrant individuals and families living in San Mateo County access Safety Net benefits such as Medi-Cal, CalFresh (food stamps), CalWORKs, and Social Security. Legal advice and representation is provided at
various locations throughout the County.

Peninsula Family Advocacy Program (FAP)

Helps patients and their families from medical-legal partnership (MLP) clinics and hospitals navigate the complicated government benefits systems including CalFresh (Food Stamps), CalWORKs, CAPI and SSI.

 

Safety Net Services

Helps low-income, San Mateo County residents who have issues concerning CalFresh (food stamps), CalWORKs, General Assistance (GA), CAPI and Social Security/SSI.

 

Senior Advocates Program 

Helps San Mateo County residents age 60 and over to resolve matters involving government benefits, including Social Security and Medi-Cal.