LSC Receives $15 Million in Supplemental Disaster Funding Bill
WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation will receive $15 million to fund legal aid in the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019 passed last night by the House of Representatives. The bill provides $19.1 billion in supplemental disaster funds for response efforts to damage caused by hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters that occurred from 2017-2019. The Senate passed the legislation last month by a vote of 85-5. President Trump is expected to sign the bill.
Unlike previous supplemental packages, this funding is not limited to providing mobile resources and technology and to increasing pro bono outreach efforts.
"We are very grateful to Congress for recognizing the important role civil legal aid plays in getting disaster survivors back on their feet,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “The $15 million Congress appropriated to LSC for disaster legal assistance will allow people to access insurance benefits, fight wrongful evictions, and fend off consumer scams."
Legal aid is essential in helping low-income survivors recover following a disaster. Survivors need the help of experts who understand the legal issues involved and who can assist them in filing insurance claims, replacing important legal documents, negotiating with landlords to make necessary repairs, appealing wrongful denials of benefits, and fending off consumer scams. With families experiencing even more stressors than before, there is also an increase in the need for more legal information on core areas of practice for legal aid, such as public benefits, domestic violence prevention, consumer law, and fraud prevention.