Program Description

Disaster Legal Services (DLS) provides free legal help to low-income disaster survivors. If you're not able to get adequate legal services for your disaster-related needs, DLS may be able to help.

FEMA provides this service through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association (ABA). They may only provide advice for cases that will not generate a fee.

For cases that may generate a fee, the ABA person taking the call can turn them over to the local lawyer referral service.

DLS can help with the following:

  • Insurance claims for medical bills, loss of property, and loss of life
  • New wills, powers of attorney, and other legal papers lost during the disaster
  • Home-repair contracts and contractors
  • Problems with landlords
  • Proof of home ownership
  • FEMA appeals

DLS attorneys are not FEMA employees. Their services are confidential and they do not share information with FEMA.

General Program Requirements

To qualify for DLS, you must be a low-income survivor of a presidentially declared disaster.

Application Process

You can call to get a referral to DLS:

  • 1-800-621-3362 (also for 711 & VRS)
  • TTY 1-800-462-7585

When you call, you'll get disaster-specific help and information. You'll also learn how to get other legal help.

Last Updated: 08/11/2020