New MLAC Report Shows Civil Legal Aid Generates Millions in New Revenue, Cost Savings for Massachusetts

Massachusetts civil aid programs generated an estimated $48 million in new revenue and cost savings for the Commonwealth in the fiscal year that ended at the end of June, 2012, according to a new report by the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC). View the fact sheet from the report here.

The state appropriation for MLAC in fiscal 2012 was $10.5 million.

“Civil legal aid is a sound investment of the Commonwealth’s resources, and this report demonstrates it,” said Lonnie Powers, executive director of MLAC, the largest funding source for civil legal aid in the Commonwealth.

“Civil legal aid provides crucial resources for low-income Massachusetts residents and a substantial economic boost for the Commonwealth,” Powers added.

The report is based on data submissions to MLAC from the 16 legal aid programs it funds in the Commonwealth.

Key findings include:

  • Civil legal aid programs drew at least $27 million in new federal dollars to Massachusetts. Specific sources were new food stamp allocations ($11.3 million); new disabilities benefits and related fees ($7.9 million); successful appeals of previously denied Medicare ($940,711); and the obtaining of federal tax credits and refunds for individuals and families ($217,761).
  • Civil legal aid programs saved about $10.7 million in state spending. This was largely by keeping people out of emergency shelters ($6.1 million) and preventing future domestic violence and related health care costs ($3.8 million).

The full report is available at http://www.mlac.org/research.html.