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National Disaster

Legal Aid

Florida Hurricane Michael 2018

HURRICANE MICHAEL HELP FOR PEOPLE IN FLORIDA

Disaster Legal Hotline: 1-866-550-2929

Hurricane winds and floods affected areas in Florida beginning on October 7, 2018 and continuing. On October 11, 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Florida to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected during this period. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. People in the following counties are eligible to receive federal disaster assistance: 

  • Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington (additional counties may be added) 

For DR-4399, assistance for affected individuals and families is available and people are urged to apply through FEMA.

Disaster Number: 4399

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

Apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits Deadline extended to October 30, 2018
Disaster Unemployment Assistance Application Extended to December 31, 2018
Registration with FEMA for Disaster Assistance December 17, 2018
Appeal Your FEMA Decision Within 60 days of the date on the determination letter


Key resources for those impacted by this disaster

GOVERNMENT DISASTER RELIEF BENEFITS

Residents and businesses affected by this disaster can apply for government disaster relief benefits in several ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • On the FEMA Mobile App, or by
  • Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages. Deadline to apply with FEMA is December 10, 2018.
  • FloridaDisaster.org - Learn more about open shelters, points of distribution for food, water and emergency supplies, etc. 
  • For official news and press releases related to this disaster, please visit FEMA's News & Updates- Florida Hurricane Michael
  • Note: Apply to FEMA to trigger the SBA Disaster loan process.
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Rural Development Disaster Assistance
  • Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Michael. Individuals affected in these designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by November 14, 2018. Important: DUA is available from weeks of unemployment beginning October 14, 2018 until April 13, 2019, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Click here for more information. 

    Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to those who:

    Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
    Are not able to work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
    Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income;
    Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
    Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
    Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because the former breadwinner’s death occurred as a result of the major disaster.
  • The Department of Children & Families Replaces Food Assistance Benefits for Customers Impacted by Hurricane Michael - See here for more information. 
  • USDA Provides 12 Hurricane-Hit Florida Counties with Additional SNAP Food Options

LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND RESOURCES

  • CALL - A TOLL-FREE LEGAL AID HOTLINE is now available for Michael survivors who cannot pay for an attorney: 1-866-550-2929. The hotline operates through a partnership between The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Click here for the full press release
  • For legal assistance and other disaster recovery information, please visit:
  • Florida LawHelp - Hurricane Michael
  • United Policyholders UP specializes in helping disaster survivors with insurance claim issues.
  • Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc. - Relief and Recovery
  • ABA Disaster Legal Services Program: Through the Disaster Legal Services Program, the ABA Young Lawyers Division (ABA-YLD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide immediate temporary legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge. Please visit their page for other disaster recovery resources. 
  • If you need to appeal a FEMA denial on your own, please see here to get an interactive form to appeal and letter requesting a copy of your file.
  • For Frequently Asked Questions about FEMA appeals, please click here.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest on the News page.
  • Help After a Disaster: FEMA's Guide for the Individual Applicants
  • You might get a call about applying for an SBA loan.  Listen!

OTHER RESOURCES THAT CAN HELP

ARE YOU AN ATTORNEY WHO CAN HELP?