When disasters strike the Palmetto State, the South Carolina Bar works to match residents in need with legal services.
Following a major disaster declaration by the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division and the American Bar Association often activate a toll-free hotline for disaster victims to call for legal assistance.
SC Free Legal Answers
SC Free Legal Answers is a free online legal advice service provided by the South Carolina Bar that allows low-income South Carolinians to post questions about their civil legal issues and receive answers from volunteer attorneys.
Eligibility guidelines are often expanded to help more people following major disasters.
Visit sc.freelegalanswers.org to see if you are eligible and to ask a question.
South Carolina Legal Services
Low-income residents may also contact South Carolina Legal Services at 1-888-346-5592 between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday for free legal representation, advocacy and information. They may also submit a request for free services at www.lawhelp.org/sc/online-intake.
Figuring out FEMA
Depending on the size and scope of a disaster, the President of the United States may make a disaster declaration approving the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist and provide support for homeowners and renters who need help to recover.
The Figuring Out FEMA guide helps the you understand the various steps and requirements needed to take advantage of FEMA assistance.
Disaster Assistance Video Series
SC Legal Services, in partnership with the SC Bar, SC Bar Pro Bono Program and AARP, produced a series of short videos covering common legal issues faced following a disaster. The quick videos offer helpful tips on unemployment, ways to safeguard documents, tenants’ rights, fraud, FEMA appeals and more.
See the videos here.