Service Tree

The Service Tree lists all services in "branched" groups, starting with the very general and moving to the very specific. Click on the name of any group name to see the sub-groups available within it. Click on a service code to see its details and the providers who offer that service.

Benefits Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for people who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining grants, payments, services or other benefits for which they are eligible. The programs may help people understand the eligibility criteria for benefits, the benefits provided by the program, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with benefits administration staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are benefits counseling organizations that offer a range of advocacy services and legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.

Consumer Law

Programs that provide assistance for people who have cases involving violations of federal and state statutes governing sales and credit practices involving consumer goods, in situations where appeals to consumer complaints organizations have not resolved the issue. Consumer law cases involve deceptive or unconscionable advertising and sales practices, product quality, credit financing and reporting, debt collection, leases, and other aspects of consumer transactions.

Discrimination Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for people who believe that they have been treated unfairly or denied normal privileges based on their age, gender, race or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, sexual orientation or marital status.

Document Authentication Services

Programs that authenticate any of a variety of documents, licenses, certifications and registrations (including birth, adoption, marriage or divorce certificates; property ownership documents; school or university admission papers and transcripts; and business, commercial import-export documents and contracts dealing with incorporation, partnerships, product standards and distribution) that citizens and foreign nationals need to use in a foreign country. Included are programs that authenticate documents for submission and acceptance by a foreign government under the terms of the Hague Convention #12 and those that authenticate documents for use in non-member nations. The Secretary of State of the state in which the document is executed may affix an apostille (certificate of authenticity) to a document which can be sent directly to a Hague member nation. Documents that will be used in non-member nations must be certified by the Secretary of State in the state in which the document is executed, authenticated by the U.S. Department of State and legalized by the embassy or consulate of that nation. All documents submitted for authentication must be acknowledged before a notary public and notary authentication by the clerk of the county in which the notary is commissioned is required.

Elder Law

Programs that provide information and guidance for individuals who need assistance in the area of law which relates to the rights and needs of older adults, especially in the areas of age discrimination, consumer fraud, estate planning and management, living trusts, trust administration, probate, property law, retirement planning, pension benefits, Social Security benefits, Medicaid and Medicare, disability planning, long-term care alternatives, health care decisions, elder abuse, guardianships and conservatorships.

Estate Planning Assistance

Programs that offer a review of options and assistance to people who want to provide for the administration and/or protection of their assets during their lifetime, develop a plan for managing their finances in the event of a disabling illness, prepare binding instructions for the health care they wish to receive or avoid should they become terminally ill, make arrangements for the disposition of their assets with a minimum amount of taxation upon their death and provide for the administration of their estate should their spouse or other beneficiaries be incapable of managing their affairs. Estate planning provides an opportunity for individuals to make their wishes known and to name the person(s) who will be responsible for carrying out those directives. Tools available during the estate planning process include a Last Will and Testament, durable power of attorney for health care, durable financial power of attorney and a directive to physicians such as a living will, natural death directive or other state-recognized document. A revocable living trust may also be appropriate in some circumstances.

Ex-Offender Legal Assistance

Programs that provide legal assistance for people with a history of incarceration who need advice related to their status as ex-offenders (also known as returning or returned citizens).

Family Law

Programs that provide assistance for people who are involved in disputes or legal actions which affect their domestic relationships.

General Legal Aid

Programs that provide legal counseling and/or representation for low-income individuals who need assistance in routine legal matters, usually in the area of bankruptcy, housing, public benefits, family law, elder law or immigration/naturalization.

General Purpose Fingerprinting

Programs that provide sets of fingerprints for any purpose including for individuals who simply want to have an additional means of personal identification. The images may be collected by a variety of means including use of ink to record fingerprint images on a standard fingerprint card and use of live scanning equipment to record and store fingerprint images electronically.

GI Rights Counseling

Programs that provide information about U.S. military regulations and practices as well as legal assistance for service members, veterans, potential recruits, and their families with the objective of supporting their ability to exercise their rights and make appropriate decisions regarding military service. Issues may include conscientious objection registration, military discharge options, AWOL (Absent WithOut Leave) and UA (Unauthorized Absence) policies and regulations, homosexual conduct regulations, military misconduct discharge regulations, service-connected injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual and other forms of harassment, abuses of command, broken enlistment promises and other legal matters concerning their relationship with the military. The program may also help young people who signed up for the military through delayed entry programs in their high schools and have changed their minds about entering the military.

Immigration/Naturalization Legal Services

Programs that provide legal assistance for immigrants, nonimmigrant visa applicants, asylum seekers and lawful permanent residents who are seeking naturalization. Services are generally provided by nonprofit immigration law offices and may involve information and consultation about benefits under immigration law including procedures for obtaining student, visitor and employment-based visas; family immigration; asylee status; lawful permanent residence status; or citizenship.

Landlord/Tenant Assistance

Programs that provide assistance, information and support for tenants and/or landlords who are involved in rental housing disputes; or which administer state laws or local ordinances which govern rent control and other aspects of tenant/landlord relations.

Lawyer Referral Services

Programs that maintain lists of private attorneys and link people who need legal assistance with lawyers who specialize in the required area of law.

Notary Public Services

Public officials who are authorized by the state to administer oaths and affirmations, take affidavits and depositions, attest to the authenticity of signatures and take acknowledgment of and certify deeds and other conveyances.

Probate Assistance

Programs that provide assistance for people who are involved in proceedings that deal with the establishment of decedents' wills, the settlement of decedents' estates or the appointment of a guardian or conservator for adults or children who are unable to manage their own affairs.

Protective/Restraining Orders

Programs that provide assistance for people who need to obtain legal protection to prevent harassment, stalking or violence in situations involving child abuse, domestic abuse, elder abuse, abduction, sexual assault, stalking or other forms of harassment or the threat of workplace violence. Depending on the situation, a person may have more than one type of order. Restraining and personal protection order laws vary from one jurisdiction to another but all establish who can file for an order, what protection or relief a person can get from such an order and how the order will be enforced. The court will order the adverse party to refrain from certain actions and/or require compliance with certain provisions. Failure to comply is a violation of the order which can result in the arrest and prosecution of the offender. Violations in some jurisdictions may also constitute criminal or civil contempt of court.

.