Nov. 6, 2018 – A toll-free legal hotline is available to victims of Wisconsin’s recently declared federal disaster area in Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties.
Individuals who were impacted by the devastating floods and storms in August and September may call the hotline at (877) 947-5291 if they are facing legal issues and are unable to afford a lawyer. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Questions may also be submitted online at wi.freelegalanswers.org.
The type of legal assistance available may include:
· Assistance with securing Federal Emergency Management Agency and other government benefits available to disaster survivors;
· Help with life, medical, and property insurance claims;
· Assistance with home repair contracts and contractors;
· Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster;
· Help with consumer protection matters, remedies, and procedures;
· Counseling on mortgage foreclosure problems;
· Counseling on landlord-tenant problems.
The service allows callers to receive limited legal assistance from a volunteer lawyer. It's a partnership between the State Bar of Wisconsin, the State Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and others.
On Oct. 18, 2018, Gov. Scott Walker announced that a federal disaster declaration had been approved by President Donald J. Trump. Under the declaration, individuals, families, and businesses in Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties are now eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance. On Nov. 1, 2018, FEMA announced assistance had been extended to Marquette County.
Residents and businesses in federally declared counties can register with FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov or (800) 621–3362. The last day to register for FEMA assistance is Dec. 17, 2018.