Monday, September 7, 2020

FREE legal services in LA and TX for those impacted by the hurricane. September 7, 2020

Background: The lawyers - some work for Legal Aid offices and some are volunteers - are trained on disaster issues.  The Red Cross has a longstanding partnership with Legal Services Corporation/Legal Aid Offices.   

Common issues:  Lawyers are available to help with all sorts of problems - housing, consumer scams, FEMA applications, food, healthcare, social services and more.  Working with a lawyer can speed up processes, eliminate mistakes in government relief applications, and generally cut through the mess.  Understand that one of a client’s top priorities may be finding a place to stay and taking care of their families.  Engaging a lawyer can assist in finding a solutions quickly. Consistent top issue is housing needs - evictions, landlord tenant, insurance, return of rent deposits and long-term solutions.

Process: If a person calls the numbers below, they will be helped. If they live outside the service area, they will be referred to a local agency in their area.  If person needs assistance in Spanish, they will be referred to a Spanish speaking lawyer. 

Distribution:  Hope this helps with requests for help you may receive.  Hard copies should be printed and distributed.

 Louisiana

 Disaster Hotline 1 844 244 7871

 Call this hotline for free legal help. It was initially set-up for pandemic issues but will handle all issues relating to the hurricane. The initial greeting may refer to COVID problems but just ignore that. I spoke with Executive Director for Legal Aid in LA yesterday and they are in the process of changing the recording.  

 Louisiana Lawhelp Website http://louisianalawhelp.org  

 Texas

 Legal Aid Hotlines

1 800 244 5492

1 866 659 0666

 Call one of these numbers - process is outlined above for how person will receive help. One other thing: the caller may be referred to this website to complete an initial, short application to see if they qualify for help from Legal Aid or will be referred to another group:  www.lonestarlegal.org. After this, all conversations are on the phone. 

 NO INTERNET ACCESS

However, if the caller doesn't have internet access, he/she should let the person on the other end know that, and they may help with application intake during that call.  Legal Aid is very experienced at this and wants to help.

When you call one of these numbers, you'll reach a person  - should tell that person that there is no access to internet in their area. The normal process is to tell someone calling in that they need to complete a quick online application at www.lonestarlegal.org.  

Once the application is submitted and the caller qualifies, someone will call them on the phone. So only the initial application has to be online - the rest of the assistance can be handled by phone. 

Recommended that you tell people whoever answers the phone that they have no access to internet. 

 

 

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