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Texas Severe Winter Storms 2021

Please note this page is no longer being updated as of October 2021

 

TEXAS SEVERE WINTER STORMS 2021

Disaster Legal Hotline: 1-800-504-7030

Severe Winter Storms hit Texas beginning on February 11, 2021. On February 19, 2021, a Major Disaster Declaration was issued for the state of Texas, making federal funding available to individuals and households who sustained damage as a result of the Severe Winter 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. Please check here for updates.

  • Anderson*

  • Angelina

  • Aransas*

  • Atascosa**

  • Austin*

  • Bandera**

  • Bastrop

  • Bee

  • Bell

  • Bexar

  • Blanco

  • Bosque*

  • Bowie*

  • Brazoria

  • Brazos

  • Brooks**

  • Brown

  • Burleson

  • Burnet*

  • Caldwell

  • Calhoun

  • Cameron

  • Chambers

  • Cherokee*

  • Collin

  • Colorado*

  • Comal

  • Comanche

  • Cooke

  • Coryell

  • Dallas

  • Denton

  • DeWitt

  • Duval**

  • Eastland**

  • Ector**

  • Ellis

  • Erath*

  • Falls

  • Fannin*

  • Fort Bend

  • Freestone*

 

 

  • Galveston

  • Gillespie

  • Goliad**

  • Gonzalez*

  • Grayson*

  • Gregg*

  • Grimes

  • Guadalupe

  • Hardin

  • Harris

  • Harrison*

  • Hays

  • Henderson

  • Hidalgo

  • Hill*

  • Hood

  • Houston*

  • Howard**

  • Hunt*

  • Jackson*

  • Jasper

  • Jefferson

  • Jim Hogg**

  • Jim Wells*

  • Johnson

  • Jones*

  • Karnes**

  • Kaufman

  • Kendall

  • Kerr***

  • Kleberg**

  • Lamar***

  • Lavaca

  • Leon**

  • Liberty

  • Limestone*

  • Llano**

  • Lubbock*

  • Madison

  • Matagorda

  • Maverick

  • McLennan

  • Medina*

  • Milam*

 

 

  • Montague

  • Montgomery

  • Nacogdoches

  • Navarro*

  • Newton**

  • Nueces

  • Orange

  • Palo Pinto

  • Panola

  • Parker

  • Polk

  • Roberton**

  • Rockwall

  • Rusk

  • Sabine

  • San Jacinto

  • San Patricio

  • Scurry

  • Shackelford***

  • Shelby

  • Smith

  • Stephens

  • Tarrant

  • Taylor*

  • Tom Green*

  • Travis

  • Trinity**

  • Tyler

  • Upshur

  • Val Verde*

  • Van Zandt

  • Victoria

  • Walker

  • Waller

  • Washington*

  • Webb**

  • Wharton

  • Wichita

  • Willacy**

  • Williamson

  • Wilson

  • Wise

  • Wood*

 

 

Counties marked with an asterisk * were added on February 23, 2021.

Counties marked with double asterisk ** were added on February 26, 2021.

Counties marked with three asterisks *** were added on June 24, 2021.

For this disaster (DR-4586), assistance for affected individuals and families is available and people are urged to apply through FEMA.

Disaster Number: 4586

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

FEMA Application Deadline

Thursday, May 20, 2021

SNAP replacement benefits

Currently SNAP recipients in 66 affected counties will automatically receive a percentage of their February benefit allotment on their Lone Star cards by March 4.


Counties eligible to receive automatic partial replacement include: Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Blanco, Borden, Brazoria, Brewster, Burnet, Calhoun, Chambers, Coke, Colorado, Comanche, Cooke, Delta, Duval, Eastland, Edwards, Falls, Frio, Galveston, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Haskell, Irion, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kerr, Kinney, Knox, La Salle, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Llano, Loving, Lynn, Martin, Matagorda, McCulloch, Medina, Menard, Mitchell, Montgomery, Oldham, Parker, Reagan, Refugio, San Patricio, San Saba, Stephens, Sterling, Sutton, Terrell, Throckmorton, Trinity, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Waller, Williamson, Young, Zapata, and Zavala.


Texas SNAP customers who do not live in one of the 66 eligible counties can request a benefit replacement for food lost or destroyed due to the winter storm in February 2021 by calling 2-1-1 or sending in Form H1855. You do not need to go to an HHSC local office.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for individuals who were affected by the winter storm in 116 counties.

For more information, visit Texas Workforce Commission's webpage.

The deadline to apply is Friday, March 26, 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

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 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.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND RESOURCES

  •   Low-income survivors facing legal issues may call 1-800-504-7030 to learn of the available civil legal resources in their area. The automated hotline is not staffed by individuals, but recorded messages will direct callers to legal resources where they can reach a live contact. The hotline is available 24/7 and callers can leave a message any time.

    • Click here for the full press release. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Texas lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal limited help.

  • A LEGAL AID HOTLINE is now available for survivors in Texas who cannot pay for an attorney: call 1-800-504-7030

  • For legal assistance and other helpful recovery information, you can visit:  

    • Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (lanwt.org) — Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas is a nonprofit organization that strives to meet the legal needs of more than 1.5 million eligible clients in its 114-county service area. The fifth-largest legal aid program in the United States, LANWT provides a wide variety of broad-based legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients including family law, landlord/tenant cases, public benefits, wills, foreclosure prevention, consumer issues, and community revitalization matters.

    • Lone Star Legal Aid (lonestarlegal.org) — Lone Star Legal Aid is the fourth largest service provider of free legal aid in the United States. LSLA serves 72 counties in Texas and four in Arkansas, from Texarkana, to the Louisiana-Texas Gulf Coast state-line, down to Matagorda Bay, an area with over 2 million Texans eligible for free legal services. LSLA has 14 offices throughout east, southeast, and northeast Texas; covering consumer, housing, environmental justice, disaster recovery, tax relief, family law, domestic violence, sexual assault, crime victim rights, veterans benefits, and more.

    • State Bar of Texas (texasbar.com) — The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.

    • Texas Legal Services Center (tlsc.org) — Texas Legal Services Center is a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide high-quality legal representation, advice, advocacy, and education at no cost to underserved people across the state. With more than a dozen practice areas, our work touches almost every aspect of civil law that impacts low-income Texans.

    • Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (trla.org) — Texas RioGrande Legal Aid provides free legal services to people who cannot afford an attorney in 68 southwestern counties, including the entire Texas-Mexico border. More than 2.7 million residents of Southwest Texas are considered eligible for TRLA services. TRLA attorneys specialize in more than 45 areas of the law, including disaster assistance, family, employment, foreclosure, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant, housing, education, immigration, farmworker, and civil rights.

    • 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.

    • FloodProof App: Proving you own your home is necessary to qualify for FEMA, SBA loans, or other disaster rebuilding funds. The Flood Proof app helps users get their documents and information in order and connects those that qualify with free legal help.

    • Federal Emergency Management Agency (fema.gov) — FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters—whether natural or man-made—including acts of terror. Through an agreement with the ABA, FEMA underwrites the cost of operating toll-free legal assistance lines for victims in areas designated as federal disaster sites.

  • 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

ARE YOU AN ATTORNEY WHO CAN HELP? 

  • Familiarize yourself with the resources and trainings available at https://www.disasterlegalaid.org/trainings/.

  • Bookmark United Policyholder's (UP) website and resources, including the Roadmap to Recovery and Advocacy and Action. UP's mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource and an effective voice for consumers of all types of insurance in all 50 states.

  • Consider joining the National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center to connect with other attorneys and advocates responding to natural disasters. The Center offers monthly training calendar emails, specialized advocacy resources, a member roster, and discussion lists you can sign up for.