TexasLawHelp.org: Responding to Legal Needs Caused by COVID-19
At the onset of the pandemic, legal aid leaders convened to organize and coordinate a statewide effort to help low-income Texans with COVID-19 related legal issues. They needed a centralized location to house the information, and they chose TexasLawHelp.org.
TexasLawHelp.org is a website that offers legal forms, FAQ’s, a legal help directory, and myriad resources needed to represent oneself within the court system — all for free. Texas Legal Services Center manages the site, and many of our legal aid partners regularly contribute new information and content.
We created a central COVID-19 Section that houses resources created by TLSC and legal aid organizations across the state. A small sample of the vast Coronavirus legal topics on the site include information on evictions, child visitation, unemployment, transfer on death deeds, Medicare/Medicaid, bankruptcy, stimulus checks, family violence, and modified court procedures. There is also information on how to access critical non-legal services like meal assistance, transportation, and childcare.
Most Utilized COVID-19 Resources on TexasLawHelp.org
COVID-19 Eviction Answer Toolkit allows those who've been given a Notice to Vacate the means to easily file an answer with the Justice Court. The toolkit includes instructions on how to fill out the COVID-19 Evictions Answer Form and FAQs covering local COVID-19 eviction protections, where to file the Answer, and how the CARES Act could apply. This toolkit was created with the help of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas.
COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits FAQ has comprehensive coverage on navigating unemployment during the pandemic. The section first walks site visitors through a series of eligibility scenarios unique to COVID — for example, if your employer reduced your hours because of COVID or if you need to stay home to care for a sick relative. It then explains how to apply, what the process will look like, and job search requirements.
Child Support and COVID-19 FAQ covers myriad topics surrounding child support obligations, modifications, and ongoing negotiations during court closures. The section answers questions such as, "If I owe child support, could this impact the amount of any federal stimulus rebate check for which I am eligible under the CARES Act?" and "Can I try to modify the amount of child support I have to pay if I lose my job due to the coronavirus crisis?"
Legal Clinic Listings is a collection of free legal events where clients can be helped by attorneys remotely via video conferencing or legal helplines.
LiveChat is a way to connect with attorneys and law students to help people find resources, legal information, and legal advice. We're on LiveChat Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Visit TexaLawHelp.org and select 'Click here to chat' during chat hours.
Our TexasLawHelp.org team has worked tirelessly to bring all Texans the COVID materials they need to navigate this ever-changing legal and social service landscape. Help us continue to meet that need — donate today.