WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2017 — Victims of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico can get legal assistance by calling a hotline set up by a partnership among the Disaster Legal Services Program of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Puerto Rican Bar Association, Puerto Rico Legal Services, Inc., Community Law Office, Inc., and the Louisiana Civil Justice Center (LCJC).
Widespread infrastructure devastation in Puerto Rico made it necessary to host the hotline on the U.S. mainland, so the disaster legal aid hotline is operating through LCJC, which has a longstanding history of providing disaster legal services information to callers.
To access help from volunteer lawyers, disaster victims should call 800-310-7029, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., (Central time) Monday through Friday (messages can be left after hours). When connected, callers should identify that they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance and give brief details of the assistance needed. Individuals who qualify for assistance are then matched with lawyers who have volunteered to provide legal assistance.
Disaster-related legal issues include landlord/tenant problems, insurance claims, FEMA claims and consumer issues such as contractor fraud.
Since September 2007, the ABA YLD has responded to more than 159 declared disasters in 43 states and two U.S. territories (including 18 so far this year).