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National Disaster

Legal Aid

Tennessee Severe Storms 2021

TENNESSEE SEVERE STORMS 2021

 Disaster Legal Hotline:1-844-HELP4TN (1-844-435-7486)

 

Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding struck areas in Tennessee from March 25th to April 3rd, 2021. On May 8th, a Major Disaster Declaration was issued for the state of Tennessee, making federal funding available to individuals and households who sustained damage as a result of the severe storms. 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

  • Davidson County
  • Williamson County
  • Wilson County

For this disaster 4601, assistance for affected individuals and families is available and people are urged to apply through FEMA.

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

 

FEMA Application 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Appeal Your FEMA Decision Letter  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

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,
    • 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 AM until 1 AM 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.

    LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND RESOURCES

    • A LEGAL AID HOTLINE is now available for survivors in Tennessee who cannot pay for an attorney:
      • Survivors may CALL 1-844-HELP4TN (1-844-435-7486) to request assistance.
      • Click here for the full press release. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Tennessee lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal limited help.
    • For legal assistance and other helpful recovery information, you can visit:
      • Tennessee Bar Association - The TBA is the largest professional association in Tennessee with more than 13,000 members. Founded in 1881, the TBA provides opportunities for continuing legal education, professional development and public service. The TBA’s dedication to serving the state’s legal community is evidenced by its membership roll, which represents the entire spectrum of legal practice: plaintiff and defense lawyers, corporate counsel, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, government lawyers and legal services attorneys.
      • Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services - TALS is a statewide nonprofit organization that strengthens the delivery of civil legal help to vulnerable Tennesseans. TALS is an alliance of the legal aid programs and other agencies that are committed to increasing equal access to justice in Tennessee. TALS hosts 1-844-HELP4TN, a free legal information and referral helpline staffed by Tennessee attorneys, as well as HELP4TN.org, a mobile responsive web portal that serves as a one-stop venue for accessing legal help via email, watching videos about what to expect in court, finding court approved legal forms, and more.
      • Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands - The Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands is Tennessee’s largest nonprofit law firm. It takes a comprehensive approach to providing high quality, free, civil legal services, and community education for people to protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. The mission of LAS is to advance, defend, and enforce the legal rights of low-income and vulnerable people in order to secure for them the necessities of life. For relief information, visit https://las.org/tornado-relief/, call 1-844-HELP4TN or 1-800-238-1443, or visit one of LAS’s offices in Nashville, Gallatin, and Cookeville.
      • Nashville Bar Association - The Nashville Bar Association, established in 1831, is a professional organization focused on serving the legal community of Nashville, Tennessee. The NBA is the largest metropolitan bar association in Tennessee with over 2,600 members. Among other things, it provides continuing legal programming for attorneys, skills workshops for young attorneys, networking opportunities for practitioners, and opportunities for pro bono and community service connections across middle Tennessee.
      • Napier-Looby Bar Association - Guided by Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. immortal words: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” the Napier-Looby Bar Association is a Nashville-based bar association dedicated to the advancement and development of African-American attorneys. Its membership consists of attorneys, in the private and public sectors, as well as judges, law professors, law students, paralegals and other individuals interested in issues affecting the African-American community. In coordinating leadership training, continuing legal education, pro bono and networking opportunities, the NLBA promotes the objectives of the National Bar Association and addresses the needs of the African-American community.
      • Tennessee Fair  Housing - The Tennessee Fair Housing Council is a private, non-profit organization, which promotes equity and diversity in housing and safeguards access to affordable housing for under-served and marginalized populations through education, outreach, and enforcement of the Federal Fair Housing Act. The TFHC takes complaints from individuals who believe they are experiencing or have experienced a difference in treatment based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. The Council may enforce its client’s rights by negotiating disability-related accommodations with landlords or providing legal advice regarding filing an administrative complaint or lawsuit. The TFHC is based in Nashville and concentrates enforcement on Davidson and Wilson Counties.
      • The Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts - The Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts is a program of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville. The VLPA provides free legal services to low-income artists and creatives of all disciplines and arts nonprofits. The VLPA may be able to assist artists, creatives, arts-related businesses, and arts nonprofits impacted by the Middle Tennessee tornados. For more information, please email vlpa@abcnashville.org or call 615-460-8274.
      • 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. 

    OTHER RESOURCES THAT CAN HELP

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