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The South Carolina Bar launched a toll-free legal assistance hotline for low-income individuals and families across South Carolina who are confronted with civil legal problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. People may call 1-833-958-2266 toll-free any time.
When connected to the hotline, callers should leave a message providing brief details about the assistance needed along with contact information and the best time of day to receive a return call. Individuals who qualify will be matched with South Carolina lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help. Callers should be aware there are some limitations on the legal services available.
The South Carolina Bar also has temporarily expanded the South Carolina Free Legal Answers online legal service that helps qualifying members of the public as they navigate the unforeseen legal matters resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online clinic, a collaboration between the SC Bar and the American Bar Association, matches low-income South Carolinians with attorneys who can answer basic legal questions online confidentially. Subject matters covered include landlord/tenant concerns, foreclosure, family law, unemployment and benefits, and debt and bankruptcy. Visit https://sc.freelegalanswers.org.
The temporary expansion allows South Carolinians below the 400% federal poverty level to qualify for SC Free Legal Answers. At that threshold, qualifying South Carolinians would include single individuals who make less than $51,040 yearly, and a family of four making less than $104,080. The number of questions a user may post annually has also been increased from three to five.
More information about pandemic-related legal help available to South Carolinians can be found at www.scbar.org/covidhelp.
Low-income residents may also contact South Carolina Legal Services at 1-888-346-5592 between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays for free legal representation, advocacy and information. They may also submit a request for free services at www.lawhelp.org/sc/online-intake.