A legal aid hotline is now available for Hurricane Michael survivors in Florida who cannot pay for an attorney: 1-866-550-2929. The hotline operates through a partnership including The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Both English and Spanish voicemail recordings give instructions for callers to leave a message requesting storm-related legal assistance, and to provide their name, telephone number, county of residence and a description of their legal problems.
Assistance through this hotline is available to qualified Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties. Those who qualify will be matched with Florida lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help such as:
Securing FEMA and other benefits.
Making life, medical and property insurance claims.
Dealing with home repair contractors.
Replacing wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the hurricane.
Helping with consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures.
Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems or landlord/tenant issues.
Callers can leave a message on the hotline at any time. Calls will be returned within two business days between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. There are some limitations: For example, assistance is not available for cases in which fees are paid as part of a settlement or award from a court. Such cases will be referred to a lawyer referral service. Funding for this hotline comes from FEMA under the authority of Section 415 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency assistance Act (Public Law 100-707).
Additional Florida Bar resources and information are listed at www.floridabar.org/hurricaneinfo