Free legal assistance available for California wildfire survivors – anewscafe.com

A legal hotline is now available for those affected by Carr Fire Shasta County, CA (additional counties may be added).

Disaster survivors facing legal issues related to the fires and who cannot afford an attorney can call the helpline at 1-800-822-9687. The hotline hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Callers can also leave a message or drop by the Carr Fire Disaster Relief Center, seven days a week, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., 2685 Hilltop Drive in Redding, CA (formerly Kmart) or the Legal Services office at northern California. in Redding at 1370 West Street.

  • The type of legal assistance available includes:
  • Replacement of identity documents with other destroyed important legal documents;
  • Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;
  • Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
  • Assistance in consumer protection, remedies and procedures;
  • Advice on mortgage foreclosure issues;
  • Advice on landlord-tenant issues; and
  • Assistance with securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster survivors.
    The hotline is a partnership between Northern California Legal Services, the State Bar of California, the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association (ABA YLD), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Legal assistance may not be available for fee-based cases. These matters may be referred for representation by a qualified attorney through a California State Bar Certified Attorney Referral Service in your area.

Declaration of major disaster
On August 4, 2018, a major disaster declaration was issued for the state of California, making federal funding available to individuals and business owners in Shasta County.

To register with FEMA and seek assistance, visit DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY) seven days a week from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Applicants should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves (i.e. current phone number, social security number, and address to receive mail),
insurance coverage and any other information to substantiate the loss. Note: If you are eligible for an Individual Assistance Grant, you are not required to reimburse FEMA. There is no income threshold for Individual Assistance Grants, but you may be referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a low-interest disaster loan, which must be repaid. The deadline for registration is October 3.

In addition, information is available on:

www.LawHelpCA.org – This statewide website, hosted by the Legal Aid Association of California, provides information on common legal issues in addition to disaster relief information. It also has an updated directory of pre-screened organizations that offer free or low-cost legal advice and representation.

www.disasterlegalaid.org – A collaborative effort of Lone Star Legal Aid, ABA, Legal Services Corporation, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Texas Legal Services Center and Pro Bono Net, Disaster Legal Aid provides disaster legal information to low- and middle-income audiences.

www.uphelp.org – United Policyholders (UP) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit consumer advocacy group that specializes in helping disaster survivors with insurance claim issues . UP also trains case managers and legal aid attorneys to help clients with insurance and disaster recovery.
State Bar of California website – Resources for post-disaster legal help, including how to replace documents after a disaster.

Background
When the President declares a major disaster, FEMA, in cooperation with the ABA YLD, establishes a toll-free number for survivors to seek legal assistance. Funding for the toll-free line comes from FEMA under Section 415 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 100-707). The ABA YLD in turn partners with state bar associations, local bar associations, and legal aid entities to recruit pro bono attorneys from affected areas to handle survivor cases.

Hotline partner members
Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association – The ABA YLD is the largest national organization of young lawyers, provides leadership in service to the public and the profession, and promotes excellence and fulfillment in the practice of law . Its parent organization, the ABA, is the national voice of the legal profession and the largest group of voluntary professional members in the world.
(https://www.americanbar.org/groups/young_lawyers.html)

Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in the preparedness, prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery from all national disasters, whether natural or man-made , including terrorism. (https://www.fema.gov/)

State Bar of California – The mission of the State Bar of California is to protect the public and includes the primary functions of licensing, regulating, and disciplining attorneys; advancing the ethical and competent practice of law; and supporting efforts for greater access and inclusion in the legal system.
(http://www.calbar.ca.gov/)

Legal Services of Northern California (Redding’s office) – LSNC’s mission is to provide quality legal services to enable the poor to identify and overcome the causes and effects of poverty within our community, using efficiently all available resources. (https://lsnc.net)

contacts:
Jonah Lamb
California State Bar
(415) 538-2283
[email protected]

Dan Wade
Director ABA YLD DLS
(619) 820-2089
[email protected]

Abre’ Conner
ABA YLD Northern California Representative
(559) 554-2994
[email protected]

lauren sanchez
Northern California Legal Services
(530) 241-3565 ext. 4077
[email protected]

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