Groups offering free legal assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Ian in S.C.

Four groups are partnering to offer free legal services to people who experienced storm-related...
Four groups are partnering to offer free legal services to people who experienced storm-related damages from Hurricane Ian.(Live 5)
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:21 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:46 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) -When Hurricane Ian swept through South Carolina, the governor’s office said it destroyed 17 homes, badly damaged hundreds more, and cost state and local agencies more than $25 million.

Individual homeowners and renters and other folks who live here have also felt the impact of the storm, on both their finances and their other legal matters, but now four groups are partnering to offer free legal services to people who experienced storm-related damages from Hurricane Ian.

The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the South Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division, and South Carolina Legal Services are partnering to offer these free legal services. which are designed for people in Charleston, Georgetown and Horry Counties who are unable to afford a lawyer.

Examples of services they can provide include:

  • Assistance with securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster victims.
  • Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims.• Help with home repair contracts and contractors.
  • Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster.
  • Assistance in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures.• Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems; and
  • Counseling on landlord-tenant problems

Taylor Gilliam, the President-elect of the SC Bar Young Lawyers Division, said the hotline is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays for hurricane victims to request assistance. When connected to the hotline, callers should say they are looking for disaster-related legal assistance, share a few details about the assistance they need and specify which disaster-declared county they are located in.

Gilliam said those who qualify will be matched with one of the over 50 lawyers who are volunteering their time to help provide free legal service.

“We have a wonderful, fantastic bar in this state. A group of dedicated individuals who are more than happy to share their time in order to serve and help others. And that’s what makes South Carolina great, one of the many reasons, and I am proud to be a South Carolina lawyer,” Gilliam said.

Victims can call 1-877-797-2227 ext. 120 (toll-free) or (803) 576-3815. Victims can also send an email to disasterinfo@scbar.org or request assistance online, here.