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National Disaster Legal Aid

Please note this page is no longer being updated as of July 2021.


Disaster Legal Hotline: 1-800-981-5342

Severe storms and flooding hit parts of Puerto Rico on September 13, 2020. On November 5, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a Major Disaster Declaration for Puerto Rico, making federal funding available to individuals and households who sustained damage as a result of the tropical storm. 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 areas are eligible to receive federal disaster assistance. Additional areas may be designated later.

  • Arecibo

For this disaster 4571, assistance for affected individuals and families is available and people are urged to apply through FEMA.

Disaster Number: 4571


FEMA Application Deadline Monday, January 4, 2021
Appeal Your FEMA Decision

If you would like to appeal FEMA's determination on assistance, you have 60 days from the date on the determination letter to do so.

Key resources for those impacted by this disaster


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

  • Online at
  • On the FEMA Mobile App,
  • Text “DRC” and a zip code to 43362 (4FEMA) to locate a Disaster Recovery Center in your area (standard message and data rates apply), 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. Eastern Time, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages. 
  • For official news and press releases related to this disaster, please visit FEMA's News & Updates section
  • Note: Apply to FEMA to trigger the SBA Disaster loan process.
  • Download this quick guide for an overview on the disaster assistance process.
  • Do you need help understanding the FEMA application and appeals process? Click here to download "Figuring Out FEMA," a friendly guide that explains FEMA's general disaster relief assistance process.


  • A LEGAL AID HOTLINE is now available for survivors in Puerto Rico who cannot pay for an attorney:
    • Survivors may CALL 1-800-981-5342 between 8:00am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday (Puerto Rico local time) to request assistance.
    • Callers can leave a voicemail outside of normal business hours. When connected to the hotline, callers should provide their name, phone number, brief details of the assistance needed and what county they live.
    • Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Puerto Rico lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal assistance. Please see the press release for more information.
  • For legal assistance and other helpful recovery information, you can visit:
    • Puerto Rico Legal Services (Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico) - A non-profit that provides civil legal assistance for low-income, elderly, and disaster-affected residents of Puerto Rico through a toll- free hotline, court-based help desks, and community legal clinics.
    • Legal Help Puerto Rico (Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico) - Bookmark for additional updates and legal rights information.
    • United Policyholders (UP) is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) consumer advocacy group that specializes in helping disaster victims with insurance claim issues. UP also trains case managers and legal aid lawyers to assist clients with insurance and recovery matters. For help with flood, wind, hurricane, and auto insurance questions.
    • 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 here 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!
  • Do you need help understanding the FEMA application and appeals process? Click here to download "Figuring Out FEMA," a friendly guide that explains FEMA's general disaster relief assistance process.