When disasters strike the Palmetto State, the South Carolina Bar works to match residents in need with legal services.  

Toll-free Hotline

A toll-free legal aid hotline is available to South Carolina victims of storm-related damage as a result of Hurricane Ian in the recently declared disaster areas of Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties. 

Hurricane survivors facing legal issues who are unable to afford a lawyer may call 
803-799-6653 ext. 120 (toll-free) or (803) 576-3815 to request assistance.

When connected to the hotline, callers should identify that they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance, provide brief details of the assistance needed and in which disaster-declared county they are located. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with South Carolina lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal assistance.

Hurricane victims may also request assistance online by filling out the below form or emailing disasterinfo@scbar.org.

The service is a partnership between the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the South Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division, and South Carolina Legal Services. 

Additional resources

South Carolina Hurricane Guide from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division

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.