By: Shoshanna Ehrlich and Ellie Crosby Lanier. Published by: AARP Foundation. Published in September 2006.
The clients of seven legal hotlines located in Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Maryland and Connecticut, were surveyed. The ultimate goal of the survey was to determine if providing telephone legal advice to clients with the types of consumer and public benefits cases tracked in the study is a beneficial use of program resources, and whether additional assistance is needed by staff to assure that clients have a positive outcome in these case categories.
Findings in Consumer Cases
- Seventy-two percent of callers with consumer cases surveyed took the action the hotline advised
- A majority of consumer case respondents (55 percent), reported a change for the better after taking the action
- Ninety-one percent of consumer case respondents reported receiving other types of help from the hotline in addition to advice to take the follow up action
Findings in Benefits Cases
- Seventy-eight percent of benefits cases reported taking the action suggested; making an application for a benefit (45 percent) was the most common action taken
- Sixty-five percent of benefits cases reported a change for the better with 52 percent of that group receiving an average benefit of $1,150 per month with the range being $79 – $3,500
- As with the consumer clients, almost all the public benefits clients (93 percent) said the hotline provided other types of help