Low-income individuals and families across South Carolina facing civil legal problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may call our Pro Bono Hotline at 1-833-958-2266.
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.
South Carolinians who qualify for assistance will be connected to SC Legal Services or matched with volunteer lawyers who can provide free legal help. Callers should be aware there are some limitations on the legal services available.
Our hotline can assist with legal questions about evictions and housing-related matters.
Important evictions and housing information
A ruling on Aug. 26, 2021 by the Supreme Court of the United States ended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium that was originally set to last until Oct. 3.
Learn more about housing assistance from the below resources.
Resources for Rental Assistance
Residents in 39 South Carolina counties who are behind on rent and utility payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply for help through the SC Stay Plus program from SC Housing.
Eligible renters can receive assistance with:
- 12 months of back rent (arrears) dating back to March 2020
- Up to three additional months of future rental assistance for those at risk of homelessness or housing instability (eviction)
- Utility assistance paid directly to the utility companies for past-due electric, natural gas, water, or wastewater bills dating back to March 2020.
To be eligible, one member of the household must:
- have qualified for unemployment or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19
- demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- have a household income at or below 80% of the county median income.
Below are some documents that applicants will be asked to provide. Not all documents are required, and SC Housing staff can help applicants if they do not have all of this documentation.
- Photo ID
- A signed lease or proof of rent payments
- A 2020 Federal Tax Return or pay stub from the last 60 days
- Proof of financial hardship— proof of unemployment, a layoff notice, or proof of business closure
- Proof of risk of housing loss or experiencing homelessness— an eviction notice or a past due notice for rent or utilities
To apply, fill out the application at SCHousing.com or call 1-800-476-0412.
Various organizations throughout South Carolina are providing emergency rental assistance to those facing financial hardships due to COVID-19.
- Horry County Emergency Rental Assitance Program | Offers rental and utility assistance to help residents of Horry County avoid eviction and maintain housing stability. The application period is open through July 14.
- Updates on programs and funds available to help South Carolina residents are available on SC Housing's Resources for Renters page.
- See Appleseed Legal Justice Center's Housing Resources listing by county.
Call SC Stay's toll-free hotline at 1-800-476-0412.
Legal Help Online
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 have been expanded to help more people with COVID-19-related legal issues.
Visit sc.freelegalanswers.org to see if you are eligible and to ask a question.
Lawyer Referral Service
If you need a lawyer, contact the SC Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-868-2284 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. The service offers referrals based on the type of law and your location. Each participating lawyer agrees to charge no more than $50 for an initial 30-minute consultation. If the consultation extends past the 30 minutes or you hire the lawyer to represent you, the lawyer will charge you his or her normal fees. The lawyers with this service do not take pro bono cases.
You can also request a referral online.
For more information on court operations, contact information and procedures for working with the various courts during this time, visit the S.C. Judicial Branch’s COVID-19 website.
Other Resources and Legal Information
South Carolina Legal Services attorneys share daily videos outlining key issues facing South Carolinians in the pandemic. Topics include probate, family law, foreclosures, public benefits and more. Additional information can be found on the SC Legal Services COVID-19 page.
Low-income residents may 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.
South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center offers a COVID-19 resource page, which includes a wide variety of tools in English and Spanish.
If you are a South Carolina Bar member, please see our COVID-19 page for attorneys. It includes the latest courts updates, CLE information and resources to help you and your firm work in the pandemic.