KY Legal Aid receives $3million-plus from Legal Services Corporation for services to tornado victims

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced that it is awarding $3,004,620 to Kentucky Legal Aid (KLA) to support the delivery of legal services to low-income people impacted by the December 2021 tornadoes.

KLA 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 FY 2022.

Survivors of natural disasters often require immediate legal assistance to file for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance and insurance benefits and to deal with related evictions, illness 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.

“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.”

KLA will use the grant to enhance staffing and infrastructure to better serve storm survivors. New disaster response positions will help existing staff members ensure low-income survivors receive advice and representation to address their disaster-related legal issues. They will manage the surge in volunteers and coordinate disaster response partnerships. A communications coordinator will raise awareness of civil legal services available to survivors.

Partnering with other legal aid providers, KLA will also enhance technological capacity by building a unified Case Management System. The remotely accessible platform will allow advocates to serve survivors in the communities where they live, work and are rebuilding.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and US territories.

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