Who is eligible for legal assistance?

Free legal assistance is available to the following people:

  • Active Duty (and their family members)
  • Reserve personnel (and their family members) who are serving as active duty or are undergoing premobilization legal preparation (PLP) However, supervising attorneys may limit assistance to emergencies or certain categories of cases based on availability of resources.
  • Reserve personnel (and their family members) who don't fit the above criteria may receive legal assistance from Reserve Corps JAGs (with possible limits based on availability) for the following cases:
    1. Military administrative matters
    2. As part of PLP
    3. members assigned to TPUs or as individual mobilization augmentees (IMAs), or alerted for mobilization, for personal legal problems and needs that may adversely affect readiness
    4. Personal legal problems that have arisen from or been aggravated by mobilization (such assistance must commence no later than two years following the mobilized member's release from active duty)
  • Active Duty and Reserve members who are receiving military retirement or disability pay (and their family members)
  • Surviving family members of active duty, Reserve, and retired members who would be eligible for legal assistance if he or she was still alive.
  • DoD civilian employees (including Dept of the Army employees):
    1. Against whom pecuniary liability has been recommended under AR 735-5 with regard to presenting matters in rebuttal to, or on appeal from, such charges.
    2. Who are serving with the US military in a foreign country (and their family members).
    3. Who have accepted employment outside the US (and their family members), even if they are in the US on home leave.
    4. Who are in the US or its territories and who are designated as "mission-essential" or "emergency-essential" civilian personnel (and their family members). Legal assistance is limited to matters that relate to the deployment of that person.
    5. Who are neither "mission-essential" or "emergency-essential" but who work in the US or its possessions and are notified they are to deply to a combat zone or on a contingency operation. Legal assistance is limited to matters that relate to the deployment of that person.
  • Civilian contractors accompanying the Armed Forces of the United States outside of the US (and their family members accompanying them), when DoD is contractually obligated to provide this assistance as part of their logistical support, as indicated below:
    1. Legal assistance provided must be in accordance with –and not prohibited by- applicable international agreement or approved by the host-nation government in some way
    2. Legal assistance is limited to ministerial services, legal counseling, legal document preparation (limited to powers of attorney and advanced medical directives), and help on retaining civilian lawyers
  • Prior Next of Kin (PNOK), executors, personal representatives, administrators, and legally recognized estate representatives for matters relating to the settlement of estates of:
    1. Active Duty or Reserve members who die while on military duty status
    2. US citizens and nationals who are civilian employees of the DoD and who are serving with or accompanying US Armed Forces outside the US at the time of their deaths
  • Fiduciaries, including those who hold powers of attorney, who have been appointed by those listed below to manage their property or handle their personal affairs. Legal services are limited to matters that would otherwise be permitted if the grantor were present.
    1. Active Duty or Reserve service members who are serving in a combat zone or contingency operation
    2. US citizens and nationals that are civilian employees of the DoD and who are serving or accompanying US Armed Forces in a combat zone or contingency operation
  • Members of other military forces while serving in the US (and their family members who accompany them)
  • Prisoners who, although discharged from military service, still remain confined within a US military confinement facility.

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