Iowa Legal Aid

Iowa Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization providing critical legal assistance to low-income and vulnerable Iowans who have nowhere else to turn.  Along with volunteer lawyers throughout the state, Iowa Legal Aid helps the legal system work for those who cannot afford help with legal issues.  Iowa Legal Aid closed approximately 15,000 cases in 2018, helping nearly 35,000 people, 15,000 of whom were children. Over 70% of the primary clients were women and 23% were seniors. Almost 32% reported having a disability.

Here are the legal issues that survivors may be facing that Iowa Legal Aid can advise and potentially represent on:

  1. Landlord/tenant/renter lease terminations and deposit and pre-paid rent return for rental units they can no longer live in or that were heavily damaged
  2. Lost identification documents and how to replace. Especially difficult if the survivor has lost the big 3 (Social Security card, driver’s license, and birth certificate)
  3. How to avoid and/or protect yourself from contractor fraud
  4. Insurance claim/coverage issues
  5. Title issues if person “owns” the home but never legally transferred title to their name. Can lead to difficulties accessing government and/or community benefits (if available).
  6. Unemployment/loss of income issues (leading to advice needed on disaster unemployment assistance if available and/or advice on debt collection/which debts to pay first)
  7. Iowa Individual Disaster Assistance Grant Program, where/how to apply
  8. Advanced directives if folks need someone else to temporarily take care of/make decisions for their children or individuals they’re caring for
  9. Education issues if folks are having issues getting enrolled in a new school or getting transportation to either their new school or school of origin.

Iowa Legal Aid is able to provide free legal advice and potential representation to Iowans who are under 200 percent of the federal poverty level. They are also able to provide free legal and potential representation to individuals over 60 regardless of their income or assets. They have enough staff members currently assigned to responding to disaster legal issues that we can support the response in-person, virtually, or over the phone anywhere in the state. We also have a Justice Bus/Mobile Intake Unit that is self-contained and can be on-site to support outreach efforts, whether through a disaster recovery center, multi-agency resource center, or as a standalone resource.

For folks calling in to do an intake directly with us, our general intake number is 1-800-532-1275. We do intakes Mondays-Fridays from 9-11 and 1:30-3:30 (with the exception of Thursday afternoon). We also handle intakes online at www.iowalegalaid.org.

Major Disaster Declaration Approved for April 26th Tornado Media Releases