Free disaster legal services available

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Photo Courtesy: Red Cross
Photo Courtesy: Red Cross

Charleston, W.Va. — If you were affected during the June storms and have questions about legal issues such as repair contracts, working with contractors, replacing wills and other legal documents, you might be eligible to get free legal counseling from a group of West Virginia lawyers who have volunteered limited legal help.

Disaster legal Services provides legal assistance to low-income individuals who, prior to or because of the disaster, have little recourse to legal services as a consequence of a major disaster.

A partnership among the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the West Virginia State Bar, and Legal Aid of West Virginia provides eligible callers 24/7 access to a toll free legal hotline, 877-331-4259. Callers may leave a message and will be matched with a local attorney.

Local legal aid providers might help you with:
Assistance with FEMA and other government benefits available

  • Assistance with life, medical, and property insurance claims
  • Help with home repair contracts and contractors
  • Replacement of wills and other important legal documents lost or destroyed in the disaster
  • Consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process
  • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems
  • Counseling on landlord-tenant problems

There are some limitations on disaster legal services. For instance, if a case might produce a fee, or where attorneys are paid as part of a court settlement, you’ll be referred to a local lawyer.

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