Legal Services of Alabama

Legal Services Alabama (LSA) is the only statewide non-profit provider of free legal services in Alabama. LSA and its predecessor offices have been leading the war against poverty in Alabama for over forty years. LSA provides access to justice and quality civil legal assistance to educate and empower Alabama's low-income community.

LSA provides legal aid and assistance in civil matters including, community education about rights and responsibilities; counsel and advice, administrative and judicial representation and appeals. Our advocates use a variety of strategies and tactics to ensure that poor people have a roof over their heads, food to eat, access to health care, educational opportunities, freedom from domestic violence, protection from economic predators, and access to emergency legal assistance when disaster strikes.

LSA’s goal is to reduce the causes and consequences of poverty in Alabama by providing comprehensive legal services that help low-income and vulnerable people.

THE CASE: LSA is currently preparing litigation against the Alabama Department of Human Resources with the assistance of a grant from the Barbara McDowell Foundation regarding the implementation of the portion of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act related to Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents or “ABAWDs.” The Act limited certain “able-bodied” adults who were not working or attending work training at least 20 hours a week to receiving only three months of SNAP (or “food stamps”) in a 36 month regardless of whether or not jobs or work programs were available. Consequently, tens of thousands of Alabama citizens were terminated from the program in 2016 and 2017 after receiving assistance for years.

LSA believes that thousands of Alabamians were unfairly and unnecessarily terminated from the program in spite of the fact that they qualified for an exception. LSA intends to prove that DHR violated the due process rights of Alabama citizens when it failed to provide notices which gave sufficient notice of the basis for termination and exemptions to recipients. LSA also intends to prove that Alabama has imposed overly restrictive interpretations of the exemptions making it unnecessarily difficult for individuals to receive the benefits that individuals are entitled to receive.

Contact: 
Jaffe Pickett, Interim Executive Director, jpickett@alsp.org 334-223-0232 
Michael Forton, Director of Advocacy, mforton@alsp.org 256-551-2671