As flood victims are working to repair their homes and get as much federal assistance as possible, volunteer attorneys are offering legal advice to those who are denied by FEMA. New Orleans attorney Graham Ryan says they’ve established a hotline to provide quick answers for these victims. He says people can call 1-800-310-7029, and there are other ways to reach these volunteers.

“The legal community here in Louisiana is also staffing attorney volunteers in the Disaster Recovery Centers that are set up in the affected areas,” Ryan said.

Ryan says some of the denials can easily be reversed. He says one common problem is that the name on the deed of the flooded home didn’t match the name on the application, like when people move into their deceased parent’s home.

“Now there’s a fast track to allow individuals to correct the deed information and to go ahead and move forward with FEMA benefits,” Ryan said.

Ryan says it’s important for people to know these attorneys are not taking on cases, just offering legal advice. But he says there are plenty of organizations around the state that will take up a flood victim’s case.

“We can refer out cases to these civil legal aid groups that can provide extra legal advice and go beyond what someone on the hotline can do,” Ryan said.