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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A federally funded program is helping low-income patients in Springfield address non-medical issues with legal assistance.

The State Journal-Register reports the Southern Illinois University Medical-Legal Partnership involves the university’s Center for Family Medicine, the School of Medicine, the School of Law and the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. The partnership has helped patients in nearly 300 cases since it began in January 2016.

The program provides free legal assistance to patients with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Assistance can deal with challenges such as divorce, landlord problems and qualifying for food stamps or Social Security disability benefits.

University officials say helping patients improve their economics, safety and emotional well-being has proven to lead to better physical and mental health.


Information from: The State Journal-Register,