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Touro Law Center’s Disaster Relief Clinic

The Disaster Relief Clinic was created when within days after Superstorm Sandy, the Touro Law Center, together with partners the Suffolk County Bar Association, the Disaster Relief Law Center "You.Me.We." and the Student Disaster Relief Network, launched the Touro Law Center – Hurricane Emergency Assistance and Referral Team (TLC-HEART), which provided referrals, assistance and legal advice for local residents and small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The TLC-HEART hotline has now evolved into a full service Sandy-Clinic, offering all pro bono legal services. As of October 1, 2015, the Clinic has:
- Spoken with over 4,000 households in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and represented over 1,000 households in full or limited scope representation;
- Filed flood insurance lawsuits in Federal Court, netting over $500,000 for our clients;
- Successfully won FEMA Recoupment Appeals, terminating over $30,000 plus associated fees, on behalf of our clients;
- Submitted supplemental structure and content flood insurance claims for our clients;
- Represented homeowners in the FEMA Sandy Claims Review Process;
- Been successful in having NY Rising grant Hardship applications submitted on behalf of our clients to move homeowners in the acquisition program, and to clarify/reduce the Duplication of Benefits analysis;
Additionally, the Clinic works cooperatively with other organizations reposing to the disaster and often hosts and assists in community education and outreach programs.
Our mission at the Disaster Relief Clinic is to assist New York Sandy-affected households with a focus on Nassau and Suffolk Counties. We focus our intakes on homeowners that are seniors, working families, and households that are financially burdened as a result of Sandy.
We assist homeowners involved in various issues and disputes, which include:
(1) Flood insurance or homeowner insurance underpayments or denials of coverage;
(2) Contractors who misappropriated funds or incorrectly performed contracted services;
(3) FEMA recoupments of Individuals and Households Program (IHP) benefits;
(4) Assistance or guidance concerning the NY Rising Program (for instance, establishing a hardship so that a household can be considered for the acquisition program), and NYR recoupments;
(5) Assistance with the FEMA Sandy Claims Review Process;
(6) Assistance for homeowners who must engage in real property loss mitigation, such as a mortgage modification or a short sale, to avoid foreclosure; and
(7) Working with policymakers to positively reform the flood insurance program in a manner that reduces the need for ongoing legal assistance or representation, by potentially thousands of households, access to justice issues related to the need for legal services, and undue burdens that insurance underpayments or denials or coverage place onto the State through its NY Rising Program and ongoing needs for social services.
Homeowners who need legal Sandy-related assistance can contact our TLC-Heart hotline 24-hours a day at (631) 761-7198.
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