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Help with Basic Needs

Bay Area Legal Services’ Team ABLE (Advocates for Basic Legal Equality) and our branch offices and partners help eligible applicants under 60 years of age with legal issues related to housing, consumer, employment, public benefits, and veteran benefits.

  • Housing: Preserving your housing and preventing you from becoming homeless.  We can help you with landlord/tenant problems, including eviction, whether you live in federally subsidized or private housing.  We can also help you if you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, including advising you about modifying your loan and other foreclosure alternatives.
  • Consumer: Helping you protect income and property from creditors by advising or defending you in collection lawsuits when you have a legal defense; preserving your income from garnishment; and in some cases referring you for help with bankruptcy.
  • Employment: Helping you maintain income after you have lost your job by advising or representing you if you have been denied unemployment compensation benefits.
  • Public Benefits: Helping you obtain, preserve or reinstate public benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid or cash assistance (TANF) by advising or representing you if you are denied or lose these benefits.
  • Veteran Benefits: Helping you obtain or preserve your veterans benefits.  Our staff is accredited for representation of veterans seeking disability, pension, or other available benefits.

For more information, click the links below:

Bankruptcy: for information and assistance go to www.flmb.uscourts.gov/faqs/.

Employment discrimination: for further information go to http://www.eeoc.gov/.

Fair Housing information: click here.

Federally subsidized housing: for information on eligibility and applying for City of Tampa Section 8 and Public Housing, go to http://www.thafl.com/.  For information on Hillsborough County Section 8, go to www.hillsboroughcounty.org/affordablehousingoffice/section8/home.cfm.

Foreclosures: For information on modification options and free HUD certified counselors to assist in this process go to http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/.

Public benefits application: to apply online go to www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/.

Unemployment compensation: to apply and get additional information go to http://www.floridajobs.org/.

BALS Offers New "Lawyers Helping Kids" Program: BALS has expanded legal services to qualifying families or individuals with children age eight or younger, or those expecting a child, through its "Lawyers Helping Kids" program. This innovative program is funded by a grant from the Children's Board of Hillsborough County. Click here for more information.