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Legal Services, Crisis Counseling and Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available for Storm Survivors

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Release date: 
February 19, 2012
Release Number: 

PELHAM, Ala. -- Available services for Jan. 22-23 storm survivors in Chilton, Jefferson and Perry counties include legal services, crisis counseling and disaster unemployment assistance.

Free or reduced-cost legal services, including legal advice, counseling and representation, may be provided to low-income disaster victims through the Alabama Bar Association’s volunteer attorney program.

The Alabama Bar Association has contact numbers available for survivors of this disaster. The Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers’ number is 205-250-5198 and is available immediately. Survivors may also get legal assistance by calling 800-354-6154.

Crisis counselors have recently met face-to-face with families who lost loved ones during the storms and are ready to assist anyone else with short-term intervention counseling caused or aggravated by the disaster. Survivors may call the crisis counseling hotline at 800-639-REBOUND or 800-985-5990, where professional counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Survivors can also get counseling information online at Survivors can text TalkWithUs to 66746, where a response is immediate and invites counseling questions which are answered right away. Spanish-speakers can text Hablanos to 66746. The TTY line for those who are deaf or hard of hearing is 800-846-8517.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is also available for workers in Chilton, Jefferson and Perry counties. Anyone who became unemployed as a direct result of the Jan. 22-23, 2012, storms may qualify for unemployment assistance through the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. The assistance may be available for those who were unable to reach their workplace, no longer have a job, or who had a prospective job eliminated because it was located in an affected area. Survivors may file a claim through DIR’s website at or by calling 866-234-5328.

Also eligible for disaster unemployment assistance are those who became the primary wage-earner or major support of the family because the head of their household died as a result of the storm. Those who cannot work because of an injury incurred during the disaster may also be eligible for assistance.

The deadline for Chilton and Jefferson counties to file for disaster unemployment assistance is March 5. The deadline in Perry County is March 12.

Anyone with questions about food assistance should contact their local Alabama Department of Human Resources.

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-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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