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Donate to Bay Area Legal Services!

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We are so excited you've joined our effort!

Ways to take full advantage of your new membership:

  • You’re Always on the Invite List
    Members enjoy bi-monthly networking events with drinks on the house and complimentary hors d'oeuvres. You're encouraged to bring a friend or two. Guests are welcome with a $10 donation at the door.
  • Join our Facebook Community
    Engage, like, love, and share our posts to help spread awareness of the importance of civil legal aid and giving back. Join The Collective on Facebook!
  • Share your thoughts with us!
    The whole idea behind The Collective is to get people talking philanthropy. Engage on our social media outlets and don't hesitate to reach out to us with new ideas and ways to improve the group. You can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 813.232.1222 ext. 156, to reach Alexandra Pullara, marketing specialist at Bay Area Legal Services. We're all ears!

Thank you so much for becoming a member. We can't wait to see you at our upcoming social hours!


Hurricane Irma graphic


Bay Area Legal Services will be maintaining and updating this page throughout Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Irma. In addition to the telephone numbers, websites, and brochures listed, below, please check the Self Help and Links page under the Get Help section of our website.


American Red Cross Food, Shelter, and Financial Assistance .........................1-866-438-4636

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assistance) ....................................1-800-621-3362

Department of Financial Services Insurance Claim Hotline ............................1-800-227-8676

Disaster Legal Services: If you have civil legal issues as a result of Hurricane Irma or Maria please contact one of the numbers below to find out if you qualify for free disaster legal services.
Hillsborough County...........................................................................813-232-1343
Manatee, Pasco, Sarasota, Pinellas Counties..............................................800-625-2257
For Residents of all other Counties – Florida Disaster Legal Services Hotline
-- Hurricane Irma ONLY.......................................................................1-866-550-2929

Florida Disaster Legal Hotline – Hurricane Irma …..................................1-866-550-2929

If you have civil legal issues as a result of Hurricane Irma, you may also call the toll-free Disaster Legal Services Hotline. This is a dedicated Hurricane Irma disaster line funded by FEMA and supported by the American Bar Association, the Florida Board of Governors, and the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. Income eligibility guidelines are higher than those of local Legal Services/Legal Aid programs. Callers can leave a message for a pro bono attorney at any time. Calls will be returned within two business days between 9 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


County and Regional Emergency Management Contacts (for local assistance)

Disaster help and resources (general):

Disaster Unemployment Assistance:  Individuals in designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by November 14, 2017. Go to, or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST to assist claimants. For DUA claims information call 1-800-204-2418 and choose option 2.


Florida Division of Emergency Management

Florida Law Help

Food Emergencies and Disaster Preparation

Hurricane Disaster Handbook (University of Florida)

IRS extension: the Internal Revenue Service has granted an extension to January 31, 2018, for any tax return, extended tax return or tax payment that was due on or after September 4, 2017. This applies to persons who live in in or whose business is located in any Florida County designated by FEMA as disaster areas eligible for individual assistance. See

The IRS is urging survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Maria to see if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Click HERE to see if you qualify.

Mortgage Assistance for Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Loans: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have instructed loan servicers to extend a 90-day forbearance due to Irma:!

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services


For downloadable brochures on the following topics, click on the link:

Disaster Information for Homeowners
Florida Senior Legal Helpline Disaster Preparedness
Home Repairs Do's and Don'ts After the Storm
Disaster Information for Renters
Disaster Relief (FEMA)
Education Rights of Children Displaced or Homeless due to Natural Disasters

The No Place Like Home project can assist low-income homeowners clear title to their homes

Many homeowners cannot qualify for much needed homestead exemptions or FEMA assistance due to their inability to prove they are the titled homeowner. The No Place Like Home project can help! For more information in English, click HERE. Para más informacíon en Español, oprima AQUÍ.


Updated 02/05/2017


 Veterans Photos

Veterans Services

Major General Ernest A. and Marilyn Bedke Veterans Law Center

Bay Area Legal Services is in the process of raising funds to fully staff a team of attorneys who will handle only veterans’ legal issues and who will be experts in the areas of law most relevant to veterans. The team will be known as the Major General Ernest A. and Marilyn Bedke Veterans Law Center in order to recognize the generosity and ongoing support of the family for which the team is named.

Bay Area Legal Services assists more than 1,000 veterans in the Tampa Bay area each year through our veteran support programs and collaborations, all projects of the Major General Ernest A. and Marilyn Bedke Veterans Law Center.

Why provide legal services to veterans?

  • The need for legal aid for veterans is significant. Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the nation, and our five-county service area is home to nearly 315,000 veterans. Of these local veterans, more than 20,000 live at or below the federal poverty level. Most cannot afford to hire an attorney.
  • Low-income, disabled, and homeless veterans often face legal problems that cannot be resolved without an attorney. Without legal help, these veterans may not be able to maintain employment, keep their families stable, obtain permanent housing, or secure the veterans benefits which were promised to them when they joined the armed forces to serve our country.
  • Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and substance abuse are particularly vulnerable to the stress caused by unresolved legal problems. Without legal help, veterans can become isolated, depressed, homeless, and even suicidal.

How can veterans receive legal help from Bay Area Legal Services?

  • Veterans can apply for legal assistance by calling our Veterans Legal Helpline: 813.232.1343 (Residents of Hillsborough County); 1.800.625.2257 (Residents of Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties); 1.800.955.8771 (TTY).
    • Veterans can also apply online through Florida Online Intake.
    • Veterans and their family members in Hillsborough and Pasco counties will be given appointments with our designated Helpline attorneys. Veterans residing elsewhere in our service area may apply for assistance through the same phone number or online and will be offered appointments through our Legal Aid Line.
  • Veterans can be referred to BALS by the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program of St. Vincent de Paul of South Pinellas, Inc. The SSVF program makes direct referrals to BALS.
  • Veterans can apply for assistance and receive advice at an on-site legal clinic at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. The legal clinic is a pro bono project of the law firm DLA Piper with support provided by BALS. The clinic is scheduled monthly, managed by DLA Piper, and staffed by volunteer attorneys. Appointments are required but walk-ins will be accepted if time permits. View all free legal clinics in VA facilities.
  • Veterans at Veterans Stand Down events can receive legal information from BALS attorneys who regularly attend the events.
  • Eligible veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system may receive legal assistance through our medical-legal partnership (MLP) at the C.W. Young VA Medical Center at Bay Pines. The Center’s MLP is staffed by a full-time BALS attorney and provides a wide variety of civil legal aid services, including veterans benefits, Social Security Disability, family law, guardianship, landlord-tenant disputes, and elder law.

2018 Veterans Outreach Court

  • The 13th Judicial Circuit will host the 2018 Veterans Outreach Court for homeless and low-income Veterans on Friday, November 9, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the James A Haley Veteran’s Hospital Primary Care Annex, 13515 Lake Terrace Lane in Tampa. Veterans who attend may be eligible for the reduction or forgiveness of fines associated with past cases that are hindering them from getting their driver’s license back. Participants must register in advance by the deadline Friday, October 19, 2018. Click here for a downloadable flyer. More information can be found on the Hillsborough County Clerk website where Veterans may also register.