Belle Glade Sun

Deadline for free disaster legal services hotline

More than 2,000 Floridians have received advice and referrals on Hurricane Irma legal issues

ORLANDO — Hurricane Irma survivors who need legal assistance but cannot afford an attorney have one more week to contact a toll-free hotline and request help. Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma should call 866-550-2929 before June 15 to receive a referral for legal advice.

Survivors can call the hotline at any time. Callers will be asked to leave a message that includes their name, phone number, email address, county where they live and a brief description of their legal issue. After a message is received, a Florida-licensed attorney will contact callers within two business days to discuss their needs. The hotline has information in English and Spanish.

English and Spanish-speaking lawyers are available, at no charge, to offer disaster-related advice to low-income individuals and families. Attorneys can answer questions about:

• Disaster assistance from FEMA and other federal and state agencies

• Landlord/tenant or foreclosure issues

• Replacing wills and other legal documents lost in the disaster

• Home repair contracts and contractors

• Filing life, medical and property insurance claims

The attorneys are not able to offer assistance for cases where fees are paid as part of a settlement or award from a court.

The hotline operates through a partnership between the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and FEMA. Since beginning days after Irma’s landfall, 425 lawyers have volunteered their time to work on 2,011 referrals.

The hotline will close Friday, June 15. Free and reliable legal resources are available at FloridaLawHelp.org. The site has information about organizations that provide free or low-cost legal help to low- and moderate-income Floridians.

For more Hurricane Irma recovery information, visit www.FEMA.gov/IrmaFL.

Follow FEMA and the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Twitter at @FEMARegion4 and @FLSERT. You may also visit FEMA and the Division’s Facebook pages at Facebook.com/FEMA and Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.