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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). DLS may only provide advice and assist with cases that will not generate a fee. For cases that may generate a fee, the ABA may refer you to a local lawyer referral service.

DLS may help with –

  • 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. The services they provide 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.

Read FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide for more details.

Application Process

For more information, call:

  • 1-800-621-3362 (also for 711 & VRS)
  • TTY 1-800-462-7585
  • If you use a relay service (a videophone, InnoCaption, CapTel, etc.), please provide your number assigned to that service. FEMA must be able to contact you. Be aware that phone calls from FEMA may appear to come from an unidentified number.
Last Updated: 07/01/2021