Low-income S.C. residents seeking answers to civil legal questions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic have a new resource in a toll-free legal assistance hotline launched by the South Carolina Bar.
Callers may dial 1-833-958-2266 toll-free at any time and leave a message providing brief details about the assistance needed, along with contact information. Qualifying individuals will then be matched with S.C. lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help.
There are limitations on the legal services available, according to a news release from the S.C. Bar.
The organization has also temporarily expanded its South Carolina Free Legal Answers online legal service, which helps the public navigate legal matters stemming from the pandemic. The service, a collaboration between the S.C. Bar and the American Bar Association, matches low-income South Carolinians with lawyers who confidentially answer basic legal questions such as landlord-tenant concerns, foreclosure, family law, unemployment and benefits, and debt and bankruptcy.
The expansion allows residents below the 400% federal poverty level to qualify for the online service. That threshold would include single individuals who make less than $51,040 annually, as well as a family of four making less than $104,080. The number of questions a user may post each year has also been increased from three to five.
The S.C. Bar serves more than 16,000 lawyer members and provides legal resources to S.C. citizens and educators.