COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s historic floods affected people’s jobs, mental state or left them needing legal assistance.
But help is still available. There are several programs to assist survivors with these issues as they work to recover from the floods:
Disaster unemployment assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance application deadlines are approaching for several counties. DUA may be available to survivors who lost their jobs or businesses as a result of the recent floods. Survivors in any of the federally designated counties are eligible to apply by visiting mybenefits.dew.sc.gov or by calling 866-831-1724.
The deadline for survivors to file a claim in Fairfield County is Nov. 19. Call 888-834-5890 for more information.
Other deadlines are Nov. 4 in Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland and Williamsburg counties; Nov. 5 in Berkeley, Clarendon and Sumter counties; Nov. 6 in Calhoun, Darlington, Florence, Kershaw and Lee counties; Nov. 7 in Bamberg, Colleton and Greenwood counties; Nov. 12 in Newberry County; and Nov. 19 in Marion counties.
A free helpline is available for survivors who have disaster-related legal questions. A partnership between the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the South Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division and South Carolina Legal Services is providing the service.
Survivors who have flood-related legal issues and cannot afford a lawyer should call 877-797-2227 ext. 120 or 803-576-3815 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Crisis counseling available
Many survivors recovering from the floods are also recovering emotionally. Free help is available for flood survivors who feel overwhelmed, exhausted or unable to cope. Mental health professionals are available at disaster recovery centers. Survivors can find their closest recovery center by calling 800-621-3362 or by logging onto fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers.
Survivors who sustained losses in Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenwood, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg counties are eligible to register for federal disaster assistance.
They can apply for assistance by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362. Disaster assistance applicants who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities should call 800-462-7585 (TTY); those who use 711/VRS may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Survivors may also choose to visit a disaster recovery center.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY/TDD).
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.