Definition

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A person who is poor, needy, and has no one to look to for support.

California Superior Court. “English Legal Glossary” (2005)

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    Indigent is an individual without sufficient income to afford a lawyer for defense in a criminal case. If the court finds a person is an indigent, the court must appoint a public defender or other attorney to represent the person.

    State Bar of Wisconsin. “News Reporters’ Legal Handbook”, 6th Ed. (2013)

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    Indigent is defined as a person who cannot afford an attorney. The State of Alaska has set income and asset limitations to identify which litigants are entitled to a court-appointed lawyer at public expense.

    Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. “Women’s Legal Rights Handbook” (2015)

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    Needy and poor. A defendant who can demonstrate his or her indigence to the court may be assigned a court-appointed attorney at public expense.

    National Center for State Courts. “Glossary of Commonly Used Court & Justice System Terminology”, Rev. 2/8/11 (2011)

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    Indigent is defined as having a gross income equalto or less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines for the sizeof the individual's family unit.

    Muzyka, Brian C., et al. “Assessment of dental faculty, staff, and students on knowledge of health effects associated with tobacco use.” Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 15.2 (2009): 135-138.

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    An indigent is defined as a person who “does not have sufficient means to engagecounsel of his choice and to have himself legally represented or assisted by counsel of hischoice.”

    Ellis, Mark S. “Achieving Justice Before the International War Crimes Tribunal: Challenges for the Defense Counsel.” Duke J. Comp. & Int’l L. 7 (1996): 519.

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    An indigent is defined by law as follows: is unemployed and has no visible source of income; does not have a fixedplace of residence according to standards determined by the scheme; does not live with a person who is employedand who has a fixed place of residence; and does not have any identifiable consistent support from another person.

    Otoo, Nathaniel, et al. “Universal Health Coverage for Inclusive and Sustainable Development.” (2014).

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    Indigent is defined as "one who is needy and poor; or one who has not sufficient propertyto furnish him a living nor anyone able to support him to whom he is entitled to look to forsupport."

    Black’s Law Dictionary 913 (rev. 4th ed. 1968). Cited: Chapman III, S. Stacy. “Vermont’s Close Jail Execution: Physical Incarceration of the Wilful and Malicious Tortfeasor.” Vt. L. Rev. 3 (1978): 165.

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    Indigent Indigent is defined as people who, due to a number of factors, are unableto make a monetary contribution towards basic services, no matter how small the amount seemsto be

    Department of Provincial Government and Housing, 2001. Cited: Ramaipadi, Mangatane Angelina. Implementation of welfare support and free basic services at Mapuve village in Limpopo Province. Diss. University of Limpopo (Turfloop Campus), 2011.

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    an indigent is defined as one without visible meansof income or income insufficient to support his family, and while one may not be really a pauper,he may even be able bodied, where he has no means of subsistence for his family

    Gatmaitan, Magno. “Remedial Law-Part One; Civil Procedure.” Phil. LJ 46 (1971): 116.


An indigent is defined as someone who meets four criteria:
  • is unemployed and has no visible source of income;
  • does not have a fixed place of residence according to standards determined by the scheme;
  • does not live with a person who is employed and who has a fixed place of residence; and
  • does not have any identifiable consistent support from another person.

Witter, Sophie, and Bertha Garshong. “Something old or something new? Social health insurance in Ghana.” BMC International Health and Human Rights 9.1 (2009): 1.


Medically indigent is defined as a person whose medical or hospital bills after payment by third-party payors exceed a specified percentage of the patient’s annual gross income.

Montoya, Isaac D., and Donna M. Meyer. “Charitable care and the nonprofit paradigm/Practitioner response.” Journal of healthcare management 43.5 (1998): 416.

Medically indigent is defined as an uninsured person who is not eligible for other health insurance coverage such as Medicare, Medicaid, or other private insurance.

PROVISION, CATASTROPHIC. “Charity Care Policy.” policy (2014).