What Legal Aid Does and Doesn’t Do

What Legal Aid Does and Doesn’t Do

Most people are most familiar with legal aid when it comes to criminal cases, “if you cannot afford an attorney then one will be appointed to you”.  That is not the only time that legal aid helps those in need.  Legal Aid offers low cost or free legal services to those who have little or no income, they are a non-profit organization and the services they offer can differ in each jurisdiction.  Let’s take a look at what legal aid does and doesn’t do.

What They Will Handle

Again this can vary by jurisdiction but these are the most common types of cases that you can go to legal aid for help with.  As mentioned earlier they do help with criminal cases and that is probably where most of their cases come from.  Family law is probably the second most common type of case that they deal with.  They will help with divorces and helping you to secure child support.  They also work with victims of domestic violence with protective orders and other types of issues that come up when a divorce concerns domestic abuse.

Legal Aid can also work closely with seniors and helping them with the number of issues that they face.  These can include things like making a will, power of attorney, applying for benefits and healthcare directives.  Immigration, especially in today’s political climate is another common type of case they deal with. They can help immigrants with the complicated paperwork that comes with immigration.  They can help fight deportation orders and accompany you on court appearances.  Here is a look at everything Legal Aid does.

What Legal Aid Doesn’t Do

Legal Aid won’t come to your rescue in every situation and there are plenty of different types of cases that they do not work with.  While this may vary in each jurisdiction in most cases they will not help with any type of civil litigation or personal injury claims.  While they may help with situations like unlawful dismissal they won’t help you sue because you slipped and fell on a cracked sidewalk.  They don’t work with any type of business law either, you won’t get help from legal aid to incorporate your company or buy property.

Legal Aid is selective in the situations in which they will give free legal help and on top of that you will also need to qualify and demonstrate that you don’t have the ability to pay for an attorney on your own.  If you are facing legal action then check with the local Legal Aid office to see if they can be of help to you.

5 Tips for Finding a Family Doctor

5 Tips for Finding a Family Doctor

Choosing a family physician that you feel comfortable with and trust is important but it can seem pretty daunting.  If you’re new to an area or haven’t had a family doctor in years picking one from the many clinics in your area can be a lot of work.  Here are 5 tips for finding a family doctor that may make your search easier.

Look at Your Network

If you have health insurance in place there may be a network of doctors and clinics that you can choose from that are covered by your provider.  Seeing one of these doctors will cost you less and there are no surprise copays or fees.  Check with your insurance policy before you start looking for a doctor, they may have a list of names.  If there is no network you should check with any potential family doctors to make sure that they accept your insurance.

Do You Need a Specialist?

Do you or anyone one in your family need specialized care?  If anyone in your family has an ongoing medical condition then make sure that the physician you choose can offer the level of care that you need.  Often a family doctor will refer you to a specialist if you need one.

How Far Away is your Doctor?

Don’t overlook convenience when it comes to seeing your doctor.  Will you skip an appointment because you don’t want to spend a half an hour in traffic.  If you’re a busy person with little time to spare then look for a clinic that is really close to either home or the office.

Meet Your Doctor

You will want to schedule an initial appointment with the doctor to see if the two of you are a good fit.  Do you feel comfortable enough with them to discuss very personal issues?  Many healthcare providers will allow you an initial consultation for little or no charge, which will help you find out if they are the doctor for you.

Read Reviews

There are dozens of sites on the internet that give you reviews of a potential doctor from actual patients.  Check a few of them out to see if your doctor has a favorable rating.  Bear in mind that these reviews are pretty subjective and that complains about out of date magazines doesn’t reflect the quality of care.  Read them with a skeptical eye and make them a small part of your decision making.