Legal Service Corp. presents findings on the unmet civil legal needs of low-income Americans

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) presented its 2022 report, “The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans,” on April 28. For the full 88-page report, data sets and more, visit https://justicegap.lsc.gov. Click here for six-page summary. PSLS receives federal funding from LSC. Some key findings:

  • Low-income Americans do not get any or enough legal help for 92% of their substantial civil legal problems.
  • 3 in 4 (74%) low-income households experienced 1+ civil legal problems in the past year.
  • 2 in 5 (39%) experienced 5+ problems, and 1 in 5 (20%) experienced 10+ problems.
  • Most common types of problems: consumer issues, health care, housing, income maintenance.
  • 1 in 4 problems: They seek legal help for only 1 out of every 4 (25%) civil legal problems that impact them substantially.
  • 1 in 2 (46%) of those who did not seek legal help for one or more problems cite concerns about cost as a reason why.
  • 1 in 2 (55%) low-income Americans who personally experienced a problem say these problems substantially impacted their lives – with the consequences affecting their finances, mental health, physical health and safety, and relationships.