Arkansas: Free legal assistance provided for flood victims

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Several legal organizations around Arkansas are providing free disaster legal assistance for people who were impacted by the recent floods. The agencies will be working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The agencies are:

  • Arkansas Bar
  • Young Lawyers’ Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Center for Arkansas Legal Services
  • Legal Aid of Arkansas
  • Arkansas Access to Justice

Arkansas has been granted federal disaster assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms and flooding beginning on May 21, 2019 and continuing, according to FEMA.

Federal funding was made possible by the President declaring a disaster declaration for people impacted by flooding in the following counties:  

  • Conway
  • Crawford
  • Faulkner
  • Jefferson
  • Perry
  • Pulaski
  • Sebastian
  • Yell

“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,” according to a FEMA release. 

Also, both FEMA and the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office urge Arkansans to be aware of the risk of fraud and common scams in the wake of severe weather. Scams include phony housing inspectors, fake building contractors and offers of state or federal aid.

The following organizations have joined forces to support a toll-free phone line for Arkansas flood victims to request free legal assistance, and to provide volunteer attorneys to handle cases arising from recent storm damage:

American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is the largest national organization of young lawyers, provides leadership in serving the public and the profession.

Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters.

Arkansas Bar Association is a voluntary, statewide organization with 5,000 members. 

 National Disaster Legal Aid Online is a collaborative effort of Lone Star Legal Aid, the American Bar Association, the Legal Services Corporation, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and Pro Bono Net.

Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas are the only free civil legal aid organizations in the state.  

Arkansas Access to Justice Commission is an agency that does pro bono work for Arkansas families.

Free Legal Answers is a virtual legal advice clinic. Qualifying users may post their civil legal question to their state’s website. Users will then be emailed when their question receives a response. Volunteer attorneys will not answer criminal law questions.    

The toll-free number flood victims may call is 1-800-950-5817.  

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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