CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- Free legal assistance is available to survivors of this spring’s tornadoes, severe storms and flooding in federally designated West Virginia counties – Lincoln, Logan, Marion and Wayne. The services are being supplied through a partnership among the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Legal Aid of West Virginia and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA officials said Friday.
Survivors facing legal problems may call 877-331-4259 to request assistance. Phone lines are staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and callers may leave a message outside of those hours. Callers should state they are seeking FEMA legal assistance and should identify what county they are located in. Survivors who qualify for assistance will be matched with West Virginia lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help.
The type of assistance available includes:
- Assistance with securing FEMA and other government 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
- Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures
- Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems
- Counseling on landlord/tenant problems
There are some limitations on disaster legal services. To determine whether a legal problem qualifies for free legal assistance, survivors should make it clear that they are seeking assistance relative to the declared FEMA disaster. An attorney will contact the caller after reviewing the information provided.
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.