Disaster Legal Services

The Disaster Legal Services Program (DLS) supports the NPG Mission Area of Recovery and the specific capability targets of economic recovery and health and social services.

DLS accomplishes this by providing legal assistance to low-income individuals who, prior to or as a result of a Presidentially
declared disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet their disaster-related needs.

Agency - Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has three primary missions: Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a listing of addresses for FEMA's Regional Offices.
Website Address

http://www.fema.gov




Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 10 grants 2,100 disaster survivors. Fiscal Year 2017: 12 grants 2,100 disaster survivors. Fiscal Year 2018: 12 grants 2,100 disaster survivors.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Disaster Legal Services program provides free legal advice for individuals impacted by a Presidentially-declared major disaster that includes Individual Assistance.

Legal advice is limited to cases that do not produce a fee.

This free legal advice includes assistance with insurance claims; counseling on landlord/tenant problems; assistance with home repair contracts; assistance in consumer protection matters; counseling on mortgage foreclosure problems; replacement of wills and other important legal documents; drafting powers of attorney; estate administration; preparation of guardianships and conservatorships; and referrals to local and State agencies for additional assistance.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

FEMA enters into a contract with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division to cover the administrative costs of implementing and managing the Disaster Legal Services program.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Service provision is geared toward low-income individuals who, prior to or because of the disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet their disaster-related needs.

Credentials/Documentation

No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. FEMA makes a formal request to the National Director of the Disaster Legal Services (DLS) program indicating the intent to implement the DLS program.

Award Procedures

Administrative funds are made available through a contractual agreement as outlined in the Memorandum of Agreement between FEMA and the American Bar Association on behalf of its Young Lawyers Division.

Deadlines

Not Applicable.

Authorization

Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Section 416, Public Law 93-288, 42 U.S.C 5182.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

None.

Appeals

None.

Renewals

None.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The length of the program is generally tied to the need for services and varies with each disaster. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Payment based on Project need.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Volunteer attorneys submit reports on services and/or advice given to clients.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Volunteer attorneys submit reports on services and/or advice given to clients.

Refer to Program guidance.

Refer to Program guidance.

Audits

No audits are required for this program.

Records

None.

Financial Information

Account Identification

70-0702-0-1-453.

Obigations

(Provision of Specialized Services) FY 16 $50,000; FY 17 est $55,000; and FY 18 est $60,500

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

None.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Federal Disaster Assistance Regulations, 44 CFR 206.164; and Disaster Legal Services Handbook.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. See Appendix IV of the Catalog for a listing of addresses for FEMA's Regional Offices.

Headquarters Office

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Assistance Directorate 500 C Street, SW, Sixth Floor , Washington, District of Columbia 20472-3100 Phone: (202) 212-1117

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.


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