Special to The News Herald
WASHINGTON — The Legal Services Corporation recently announced it is awarding $4.35 million to Legal Aid of North Carolina to support the delivery of legal services to low-income people impacted by Hurricane Isaias, Tropical Storm Eta, Tropical Storm Fred and other severe weather events the state faced in 2020 and 2021.
LANC is one of 19 organizations around the country receiving grants for natural disasters faced in 2020 and 2021. Congress included $40 million for LSC in a $28.6 billion emergency supplemental appropriation attached to the September 2021 Continuing Resolution to fund the government in fiscal year 2022.
Survivors of natural disasters often require immediate legal assistance to file for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance and insurance benefits and to deal with related evictions, unemployment and document replacement. Legal challenges can haunt survivors for years. Cases involving FEMA appeals, bankruptcy, public housing and domestic violence will arise, and disaster victims can be vulnerable to fraud or scams.
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“Low-income people who confront civil legal issues in the wake of natural disasters face an uphill battle, and they shouldn’t have to go it alone,” said LSC President Ronald S. Flagg. “We are grateful that Congress recognizes the need for legal assistance in these recovering communities and provided this funding that will help our neighbors repair and stay in their homes, obtain key identification documents, apply for benefits and so much more.”
LANC will use this grant to grow its disaster relief program, creating two teams to serve the eastern and western regions of North Carolina. Each team will include a supervising attorney, three staff attorneys and two paralegals. The grant will also fund four additional full-time positions that will contribute to the success of the disaster relief project.
A primary focus of LANC’s