COVID-19 Legal Services
The COVID-19 pandemic’s long-lasting negative impacts have had a devastatingly disproportionate impact on people with limited means and caused a spike in related legal needs. Reports of domestic violence rose, service industry jobs were decimated, people lost the roofs over their heads through foreclosure and eviction as moratoria expired. Lost income and, in some cases, COVID-19-related hospitalizations resulted in cascading debt.
In March 2022, Governor Tony Evers announced $7,936,000 in legal services funding to support Wisconsinites who need legal assistance to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds for this project are part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF), passed through the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families (DCF) to WisTAF for development and administration of a civil legal services grant program. The funding allocation has two components:
- $7,812,000 to fund COVID-19 related civil legal services.
- $124,000 to build a Wisconsin Law Help website, a user-friendly online legal assistance portal that will help Wisconsinites access accurate legal information and referrals.
With this funding, 13 grant recipients throughout the state are helping eligible clients who are at or below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) for the size of their households address a range of civil legal problems exacerbated by the pandemic