As New Yorkers struggle in the wake of Sandy to find shelter, food, and other basic needs, legal issues related to the storm are already emerging across the five boroughs and Long Island. NYLAG has mobilized a legal aid disaster relief program to help victims of the storm deal with a range of issues, including:
- Filing for FEMA and other disaster program benefits
- Appealing denied claims
- Documenting damage to homes and small businesses
- Disputing FEMA recoupment letters: Click here to view/ download a printable flyer with more information.
- Eligibility for housing vouchers
- Landlord/tenant disputes
- Wrongful evictions
- Mortgage issues for affected homes
- Obtaining increase in insurance proceeds
- Challenging coverage denials
- Insurance mediation
- Bankruptcies and credit problems
- Contractor and other disaster-related frauds
- Financial and debt counseling
Family Law Matters
- Domestic violence
- Custody and divorce
Accessing & Continuing Public Benefits
- Food Stamps
- Social Security Disability
- Public Assistance
- Immigrant eligibility for various public benefits
- Emergency immigration legal issues
- Accessing emergency unemployment benefits
- Replacing lost documentation/identification
- Wills and advance directives
- Special education services for displaced disabled children
Those seeking immediate assistance with legal issues can call our hotline at
212-584-3365 or email us at StormHelp@nylag.org.
Our legal staff of more than 100 professionals, assisted by a network of over 800 volunteers, are setting up “legal access points” throughout the areas most affected by the storm. These include the community-based organizations, courts, hospitals and other agencies with which we have existing intake sites and long-standing partnerships. Please see the calendar below for updates on locations.
We expect legal needs post-Sandy to track closely those of other major natural disasters, in particular Hurricane Katrina. NYLAG has sought the assistance of legal agencies that served victims of Katrina in order to apply best practices and lessons learned in the wake of that disaster to better serve individuals affected by Sandy. Immediately after the storm, our staff engaged in rigorous trainings on FEMA benefits and other related legal needs to ensure we are prepared to handle these matters for clients.
In addition, NYLAG’s Mobile Legal Help Center is traveling to hard-hit neighborhoods across the city, in particular Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island, where the devastation has been most profound, the legal aid infrastructure is compromised by storm damage, and those in need are isolated and unable to travel.
We hope that you will join with us to secure the legal rights of the victims of this terrible natural disaster in the difficult days ahead.
Watch NYLAG’s Probono trainings on the web at probono.net/nylagstormrelief.
To volunteer to provide pro bono legal assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and check the calendar below for updates.
Download the printable NYLAG Storm Help Flyer in English.
Download the printable NYLAG Storm Help Flyer Espanol in Spanish.
Download the printable NYLAG Storm Help Flyer Russian in Russian (помощ в связи со штормом).
Immigrant Eligibility for Disaster Benefits flyer in English
NYLAG is a beneficiary of UJA-Federation’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. To make a donation to the Fund go to Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.