WVSLA provides free civil legal services for senior West Virginians age 60 and over.
Any West Virginia resident age 60 or over is eligible for our services. Unlike many legal services programs we do not have income limits. We seek to serve the most socially and economically needs seniors in WV, but we understand that income is not the only measure of neediness. We provide at least legal information to any eligible client. But in order to target our scarce resources to the seniors who need us most we provide higher levels of service, including legal advice and legal advocacy, to seniors who are low-income, minority, disabled, very rural, LGBT, or very elderly.
We support the autonomy of seniors to remain independent and in control of their own lives. We also must abide by the legal profession’s ethical rules regarding who is our client, client loyalty, and avoiding conflicts of interest. Therefore the senior him or herself must contact us for legal help. We cannot provide any assistance through a third party except in limited circumstances as an accommodation to disability. For example, if your mother needs legal assistance to deal with a consumer problem, please do not contact us on her behalf. Even if you handle her bills for her, have Durable Power of Attorney, or she wants you to call us, please encourage her to contact us herself. In order for us to help her we need for her to contact us to ask for assistance, direct us about how she would like our help, and determine her goals regarding the matter. If she cannot contact us herself because she has a hearing deficit and can’t use the phone, or because her mental capacity is diminished, you may contact us on her behalf.
Accessing our services: a statewide senior legal hotline
Many seniors in West Virginia have transportation problems, but nearly every senior West Virginian has access to a telephone. We have chosen to make our services available by telephone rather than requiring our clients to come to a physical office. You can also email us for legal help, if you prefer. If you need assistance accessing us, perhaps because you have no phone or email or because you have trouble communicating by phone, you may also contact your local county senior program to get help contacting us.
What you can expect when you call our statewide senior legal hotline: