The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is the nation’s largest provider of civil legal aid for low-income Americans, and LSC grantees serve over 1.8 million people in every congressional district throughout the United States. LSC directly benefits veterans, individuals in rural communities, aging Americans, disaster victims, victims of the opioid epidemic, women (who are over 71% of clients), and many others. However, LSC has been under-resourced for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple devastating natural disasters have made the problem more acute due to significantly increased demand for legal aid across the country.
The ABA has advocated vigorously over the years for increased and robust LSC funding. These efforts during the 117th Congress were successful. Most recently, LSC funding was boosted to $560 million for FY 2023, which represents a $71 million increase and equates to a 14.5% higher allocation than the previous fiscal year. Congress also allocated an additional $20 million to LSC specifically dedicated to providing relief to victims of natural disasters.
During the 118th Congress, GAO will continue to build and expand coalitions of support and seek innovative ways to explain the need for LSC to secure as high a level of funding as possible for FY 2024 and FY 2025.