Supplemental Disaster Funding Includes $1 Million for Legal Services to Low-Income Survivors

WASHINGTON – The Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Bill (H.R. 152), which passed the U.S. Senate last night on a 62-36 vote, includes $1 million for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to provide assistance to low-income people in areas significantly affected by the super storm.

“Legal issues caused by natural disasters often disproportionately affect low-income families, seniors, veterans, and others who are least able to deal with them,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “We are grateful for this supplemental appropriation, which will fund legal services for Sandy’s most vulnerable survivors.”

Low-income individuals and families encounter a variety of civil legal needs as they recover from natural disasters. People in the areas hardest hit by Sandy will require legal assistance on a range of issues, such as preventing wrongful evictions, obtaining repairs to damaged rental housing, and contesting inappropriate denials of insurance claims.

The House passed an identical version of the bill on January 15th.  President Obama is expected to sign the bill this week.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974. For 50 years, LSC has provided financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 131 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.