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Puerto Rico Hurricane María 2017

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Hurricane María Help for Puerto Ricans 

The Disaster Legal Hotline is: 1-800-310-7029

Hurricane María struck Puerto Rico beginning on September 17, 2017 and severe winds, storms and flooding have devastated many areas of the island. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on September 21, 2017 that federal disaster assistance has been made available to Puerto Rico to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas, making federal funding available for emergency work and to individuals and businesses owners who sustain damage as a result of Hurricane Irma.

For DR 4339, as of September 20, direct federal financial assistance is available for impacted Puerto Rico individuals and families in all municipalities. 

Important Deadlines


Application for FEMA Assistance *Apply to FEMA to trigger the SBA Disaster Loan Process Extended to June 18, 2018
Application for Tu Hogar Renace Program (Housing Department) *In order to apply for this program, you must first apply for FEMA Assistance.  Extended to April 29, 2018
Transitional Sheltering Assistance program  Extended to May 14, 2018
Appeal Your FEMA Decision

Within 60 days after the date that you were notified of the award or denial of assistance

Upcoming FEMA Appeals Event/Próximos Eventos Apelaciones de FEMA

MARCH 17, 2018, 10:00AM, New York- Casita María Center for Arts & Education, Urban Health Plan & LatinoJustice PRLDEF presents a free legal support workshop for Puerto Rican newcomers from the island who suffered damage after the passage of Hurricane María. Our legal aid brigade includes legal advice from volunteer attorneys for whom they received a denial of their FEMA application. If FEMA denied your request, come to the legal support workshop to help you. For more info, visit *Remember to bring your ID, your FEMA application number and ALL the letters you have received from the agency.

Recent Updates on Recovery Process 

60-Day Extension of Foreclosure Moratorium for Hurricane María Affected Areas in Puerto Rico:

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2018-02, “Extension of Disaster Foreclosure Moratoriums for Specified Areas Impacted by Hurricane María,” which extends the current 180-day foreclosure moratorium in the Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas (PDMDAs) for Hurricane María in Puerto Rico for an additional 60 days, through May 18, 2018. Read HUD’s press release.

Key resources for those impacted by the Hurricane

Government Disaster Relief Benefits

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

  • Online at
  • 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.
  • Please watch for updates on FEMA's website.

Note:  The deadline to apply for FEMA has been extended until March 20, 2018.  Apply to FEMA to trigger the SBA Disaster loan process.

Legal Assistance


  • The hotline operates through a partnership between Legal Services Corporation of Puerto Rico, the American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Louisiana Civil Justice Center (LCJC).

  • Bookmark for additional updates and legal rights information 

  • Visit Servicios Legales Puerto Rico for information about services available from legal aid

Resources for People Who Have Relocated




General Safety & Shelters

Related News

For recent news related to legal aid & Puerto Rico's recovery please click here