October 31, 2016
DR-4280-4283-FL NR 006
State News Desk: (850) 921-0217
FEMA News Desk: (202) 322-6282
Free Legal Assistance for Survivors Affected by Florida Hurricanes
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Free legal assistance is available to eligible low-income survivors in the 17 counties affected by hurricanes Hermine and Matthew: Brevard, Citrus, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Levy, Nassau, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia.
This service is a partnership among The Florida Bar, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, and FEMA. Examples of the legal assistance available include:
· Assistance with securing FEMA and other benefits available to disaster survivors;
· Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;
· Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
· Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster;
· Assistance with consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures;
· Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems;
· Counseling on landlord/tenant problems.
Survivors may call the legal assistance hotline at 866-550-2929, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those who qualify for assistance will be matched with Florida lawyers who have volunteered to provide free, limited legal help. Although consultations with attorneys are confidential, survivors should be aware that there are some limitations on disaster legal services. For example, assistance is not available for cases that will produce a fee (i.e., those cases where fees are paid as part of the settlement by the court). Such cases are passed to a lawyer referral service.
Other entities providing free legal aid are:
· National Disaster Legal Aid Online (disasterlegalaid.org);
· Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc. (800-405-1417);
· Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. (1-866-256-8091).
For more information on Florida’s disaster recovery visit fema.gov/disaster/4280, fema.gov/disaster/4283, twitter.com/femaregion4, facebook.com/FEMA, and fema.gov/blog, floridadisaster.org or #FLRecovers. For imagery, video, graphics and releases, see fema.gov/Hurricane-Matthew.
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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (for Spanish, press 2).
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