Tagalog Gateway (English Translation)

Safety Planning in the Workplace: Protect Yourself and Your Job (PDF) (NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) - A guide for women who are victims of domestic violence.

Your Rights to Interpretation And Translation From Maryland State Agencies (Maryland Legal Assistance Network) - Information about and explanation of the Maryland law that requires many of the Maryland state government agencies and programs to help you if you have trouble with English. (May 2007).

Your Right To An Interpreter in Court - You have the right to have an interpreter when you have a case in the Maryland courts. This brochure describes your rights. The Maryland Legal Assistance Network and the Maryland State Bar Associations' Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services created the brochure. You can print it out and take it to court as one way of asking for an interpreter. You can give the brochure to the clerk. There is an English section that tells the clerk which language you speak and notifies the court staff person that you wish to have an interpreter. (2 pages - 2007)

Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants (PDF) (USCIS) - A guide created by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services that discusses a wide variety of issues pertaining to being an immigrant in the US, such as rights and responsibilities as an immigrant, maintaining current status, federal benefits, and much more. 88 pages, last updated January 2005.

Finding Legal Help

The Maryland Legal Assistance Network (MLAN) supports the work of the organizations providing free legal help to people in Maryland with low and moderate incomes. Many organizations provide help in other languages.  This section is a gateway to the written information currently available in Maryland.

You may also contact these legal organizations that can provide help using over-the-telephone interpreters in over 145 languages. If you are comfortable reading some English or  have a friend who can help, you can find more information on these legal organizations and others by searching this directory.

Other sources of legal help:  

  • Free Legal Advice for Howard County Residents -  Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network (FIRN) (410-992-1923) is a non-profit organization in Maryland that provides free legal advice on immigration, housing, domestic violence, health, end employment issues.  Assistance in Tagalog is available upon notice.  Please have an English speaker call and set up a translator.   If there is no one in the office able to assist you in Tagalog, the office will refer you to a volunteer outside of the office who will be able to help you.  You must be a Howard County resident to be eligible for this service; exceptions are made in emergency situations.  FIRN is open Monday, Thursday, and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Legal Referral Hotline staffed by Law Students speaking Tagalog - The Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (202-393-3572) is a legal referral hotline staffed by bilingual law students in the Washington, DC area. They can help locate agencies or attorneys who can give you legal help, mainly in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The APALRC is currently in the process of implementing an interpretation component of this service, in which someone is available to translate conversations between you and the agency or attorney.  This service should be available by October 2001.  The hotline runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.  Eligibility for free or reduced fee legal help is based on income.

Finding Information on the Web

  • Social security, retirement and survivors benefits, disability benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits  - The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal government agency that administers social security, a way for Americans to automatically save money for the future.   The SSA offers many of its documents online in Tagalog. Here you can find general information on topics such as the various social security programs, applying for retirement, disability, and Supplemental Security Income benefits, a glossary of social security terms, and special benefits for World War II veterans.  Also, you can call 1-800-772-1213 to request a free interpreter to assist in social security issues.  However, an English speaker must go through the phone tree to request the interpreter.
  • Employment Discrimination - The Department of Justice – Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is a federal agency division that investigates employers charged with discrimination based on national origin and citizenship status.  If you know of a possible unfair immigration-related employment practice, or just want to learn more about OSC, call the toll free information number and worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688.  Once you get through to the hotline, dial “0” immediately and say "Tagalog only," then wait on the line for an interpreter.
  • You have the right not to be discriminated against based on national origin - (U.S. Department of Justice)
Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2013.”