Legal Services NYC

40 Worth Street, Suite 606
New York, NY 10013

To Volunteer, Contact:

Email and include "Sandy Volunteer" in the subject line.

Storm Response and Volunteer Needs

Since the storm hit, we have been working in communities around the City to help people meet their most fundamental human needs, and to provide legal services that will enable them to get benefits, obtain safe affordable housing and address other legal issues that will help our communities recover. LSNYC staff and volunteers have worked in shelters, disaster relief centers and with community-based organizations to help families and neighborhoods devastated by the storm.

We've staffed outreach and legal clinics and provided humanitarian assistance in the hardest-hit areas of all five boroughs, assisting thousands of people in applying for emergency benefits, FEMA assistance and unemployment insurance; delivering food and supplies; and addressing other urgent needs. We have also helped small businesses to locate pro bono resources that will help them navigate economic recovery.

Legal Services NYC is well-positioned to provide help to those who need it to address storm related challenges. We have extensive experience, based on our post-9/11 work and otherwise, helping families and individuals get emergency related services. Drawing on that experience, our advocates have produced a comprehensive Disaster Relief Legal Assistance Manual with information about Disaster Unemployment Insurance, FEMA, emergency food stamps, ADAP and Medicaid, and more. We have also co-sponsored a training to prepare more than 250 volunteer lawyers to participate in disaster assistance clinics and other opportunities to provide legal counseling to affected communities.

Some of the areas in which we continue to offer direct assistance to New Yorkers are:

  • FEMA Applications: Advocates can assist individuals with FEMA applications and challenge improper denials when necessary.
  • Emergency Benefits: We are assisting people in completing Emergency Food Stamp applications and accessing other emergency benefits.
  • Employment: We can assist workers who have lost wages because of storm-related problems access emergency unemployment benefits.
  • Housing: We are preventing wrongful evictions, advising tenants about rent abatements, obtaining repairs and helping tenants to move/obtain transfers to alternate housing.
  • Foreclosure Prevention: We are working with homeowners to navigate insurance claims, apply for assistance with home repairs, and negotiate with lenders to prevent foreclosures.
  • Economic Recovery: We are helping small businesses to locate pro bono assistance to address both immediate and ongoing needs.
  • Other Civil Legal Services: Many New Yorkers will encounter many other civil legal needs as they continue to recover from the storm. Our advocates and pro bono partners are available to help on a range of other issues. We are also available for community-based outreach events and through our local offices.
Training Materials

In addition to our Disaster Relief Legal Assistance Manual, Legal Services has taken part in several other trainings that can be found on's Disaster Legal Relief resources page.