(a) The governing body of a recipient shall adopt policies consistent with this part for determining the financial eligibility of applicants and groups. The governing body shall review its financial eligibility policies at least once every three years and make adjustments as necessary. The recipient shall implement procedures consistent with its policies.
(b) As part of its financial eligibility policies, every recipient shall specify that only individuals and groups determined to be financially eligible under the recipient's financial eligibility policies and LSC regulations may receive legal assistance supported with LSC funds.
(1) As part of its financial eligibility policies, every recipient shall establish annual income ceilings for individuals and households, which may not exceed one hundred and twenty five percent (125%) of the current official Federal Poverty Guidelines amounts. The Corporation shall annually calculate 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines amounts and publish such calculations in the Federal Register as a revision to Appendix A to this part.
(2) As part of its financial eligibility policies, a recipient may adopt authorized exceptions to its annual income ceilings consistent with § 1611.5.
(1) As part of its financial eligibility policies, every recipient shall establish reasonable asset ceilings for individuals and households. In establishing asset ceilings, the recipient may exclude consideration of a household's principal residence, vehicles used for transportation, assets used in producing income, and other assets which are exempt from attachment under State or Federal law.
(2) The recipient's policies may provide authority for waiver of its asset ceilings for specific applicants under unusual circumstances and when approved by the recipient's Executive Director, or his/her designee. When the asset ceiling is waived, the recipient shall record the reasons for such waiver and shall keep such records as are necessary to inform the Corporation of the reasons for such waiver.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, or other provision of the recipient's financial eligibility policies, every recipient shall specify as part of its financial eligibility policies that in assessing the income or assets of an applicant who is a victim of domestic violence, the recipient shall consider only the assets and income of the applicant and members of the applicant's household other than those of the alleged perpetrator of the domestic violence and shall not include any assets held by the alleged perpetrator of the domestic violence, jointly held by the applicant with the alleged perpetrator of the domestic violence, or assets jointly held by any member of the applicant's household with the alleged perpetrator of the domestic violence.
(f) As part of its financial eligibility policies, a recipient may adopt policies that permit financial eligibility to be established by reference to an applicant's receipt of benefits from a governmental program for low-income individuals or families consistent with § 1611.4(c).
(g) Before establishing its financial eligibility policies, a recipient shall consider the cost of living in the service area or locality and other relevant factors, including but not limited to:
(1) The number of clients who can be served by the resources of the recipient;
(2) The population that would be eligible at and below alternative income and asset ceilings; and
(3) The availability and cost of legal services provided by the private bar and other free or low cost legal services providers in the area.