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Advice and representation from San Diego Legal Aid Society.

The staff from Legal Aid Society of San Diego are focused on providing some type of free, or low cost, aid and representation to individuals and seniors across southern California. Clients need to meet income limits, but if they do, there may be advice for a number of matters.

The organization operates as a non-profit, pro-bono firm and is committed to helping people who would otherwise not have representation. Clients can receive everything free advice on how to stop an eviction or foreclosure to their home to accessing government benefits such as SSI. While not all cases or people will qualify for help, the attorneys do their best to assist those that are less fortunate.

While the society is the main contact (and their information is below), residents have other options, such as San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, and that number is 619 235-5656. The university also has students and staff that can help the vulnerable, and their information is School of Law, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, California 92110-2492.

The Benefits and Employment Division helps people with cases before a government agency. Individuals can get support in dealing with the Social Security Administration, Division of Unemployment Assistance, and other bureaucracies, including all of the various state of California organizations. There is advice and support in applying for SSI, Cal Fresh food stamps, low income energy bill assistance or LIHEAP, Medi-Cal disability, and unemployment benefits.  The unit of the society also represents people who have employment discrimination or unfair wage claims.

Seniors can often get help from Legal Aid Society, regardless of income. Elder Law covers a number of topics. It can include housing cases; access to healthcare benefits including Medicare; SSI and Social Security disability cases; nursing home rights; and other benefits in California that may be targeted more at people over the age of 60. There is also assistance on family law, including neglect or abuse; consumer rights issues or also financial exploitation.

Some civil, family law type issues may be handled by attorneys from Legal Aid Society of San Diego. The staff may arrange legal assistance to other vulnerable clients or domestic violence victims in cases involving delinquent child support, restraining orders, divorce, paternity, or custody. No criminal matters will be handled by any law firm, whether this non-profit or some other organization. This type of service is intended to help clients become safe and self sufficient




Homeless and housing issues are handled by the society too, and this ranges from eviction and foreclosure prevention to much more. They can even contest an illegal disconnection of your electricity or heating service.  With the high prices of rent and overall housing costs in the area, many vulnerable families struggle with this.

The organization works to offer free legal services to help tenants facing eviction and deal with discrimination. Clients may also get referrals to emergency housing in San Diego or even places that may have funds to help with rent. The Unit also has information on local housing discrimination enforcement program.

There may also be representation provided in housing court itself. Advocates will assist low-income and elderly tenants with their eviction cases. Some people may be able to meet a representative in court on the day of trial. There may also be assistance in completing any necessary paperwork, negotiating with their landlords, and lawyers will also help people present their case to the judge.

Homeowners who are threatened with foreclosure, which is all too many in San Diego County, can also get guidance. This may be counseling and assistance with modifying their home loan. Some of this is offered from housing counselors that partner with the attorney. This will involve the attorneys working closely with community partners to assist families threatened with foreclosure or who have lost their homes to predatory lending or maybe illegal foreclosures. The staff also help tenants that have a lease in place in a foreclosed buildings who are facing eviction from it.

Fair Housing is a right for all. Legal Aid of San Diego provides free assistance to residents who have been the victim of discrimination from a landlord or maybe an apartment community. Over the years, staff have assisted clients in a range of discrimination claims including refusal to rent due to family status, racial harassment, interference with government housing subsidies such as section 8, and even discrimination based on disability. So to address any discrimination in the county or city of San Diego itself, the firm will support litigation or promote equitable settlements for qualified clients.





The Immigration Unit represents clients who are new to the country and that are seeking various forms of relief and support. The firm will help qualified clients secure legal status, and this is in high demand across California. Those impacted by violence can get assistance from the federal government established Violence Against Women Act. In addition to those two services, staff can offer provide referrals to other non-profit agencies for those we cannot represent, such as Catholic Charities in California, which has an immigration service.

A unit assists Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage Plan or the traditional service. The goal is to help beneficiaries who are denied coverage for skilled nursing facility care, standard physicians’ services, durable medical equipment, or maybe home health care.

A number of other of medical needs are supported by staff from San Diego Legal Aid Society. They will advise beneficiaries who are forced to leave the hospital prematurely, are made to wait for coverage to begin under threat of a premium penalty, and there is also guidance for residents of the county who need tips on navigating the complex prescription drug benefit programs in the state. The main number for the medical department is 1-877-734-3258.

There are a few offices of the society. They are as follows. Or call the main office at 1-877-534-2524.

  • 110 S. Euclid Avenue, San Diego, CA 92114
  • Mid Town Office, 1764 San Diego Avenue, Suite 200, San Diego, California 92110
  • North County Office, 216 S. Tremont Street, Oceanside, CA 92054




By Jon McNamara

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