Statewide COVID-19 Legal Needs

These are the types of cases that legal aid and pro bono providers believe will arise as a result of COVID-19. Click here when you're ready to sign up.


  1. Price Gouging
  2. Fraud
  3. Debt Collection (any temporary relief available from creditors because of public health emergency)
  4. Bankruptcies
  5. Small business loans (SBA) disaster loans for individuals
  6. Student loan forbearance
  7. Identity theft
  8. Disaster- NFIP granted extension re enrollment for policies due to expire


  1. Accessibility and accommodations to virtual and at-home instruction
    1. Continuity of related services (such as speech or counseling) accommodating change in environment, will school choose not to utilize telehealth to provide related services because Medicaid reimbursement is a lower rate
    2. Availability of compensatory special education services needed because of disruptions to services
  2. Compliance/Timeliness in the delivery of services under IDEA
  3. Failure to fulfill Child Find obligations
  4. Accessibility in native language formats
  5. Accessibility to technology/wi-fi
  6. If now relying on the parent to serve as the “paraprofessional”, let’s say to provide behavioral support, how does the parent get some relief, respite, especially if they have more than 1 child in school.
  7. Homeless families and children issues with moving from hotel to hotel and ISD (working with Mckinney Vento regulation)


  1. Unsafe working conditions (employees concerned that employer not taking the pandemic threat seriously or reacting quickly enough; retaliation against employees who miss work or modify employment conditions anyway)
  2. Workplace discrimination, failure to accommodate, or firing because of, for example:
    1. having COVID-19 (or is thought to have it);
    2. having a co-worker or family member who has COVID-19 (or is thought to have it);
    3. having a condition that puts them at higher risk (or is thought to do so);
    4. having a flare-up of a mental health condition because of the pandemic;
    5. a request to telework or for a period of leave in order to avoid the virus;
    6. the need for assistive technology or other accommodations by employees with disabilities who could work remotely; and
    7.  an underlying disability or impairment that was disclosed because of COVID-19 issues.
  3. Accessibility of online classes for individuals who are Deaf and need an ASL interpreter;
  4. Employers forcing employees to work even if the business is determined to be “non-essential”;
  5. Employees in assembly lines (in essential businesses) who are forced to work in close proximity to other employees due to the arrangement of the line;
  6. Multiple employees who are required to use the same biometric devices to clock into or out of work;
  7. Voting issues, for example, voting by mail options may not be accessible for individuals with disabilities.
  8. Accessibility issues in terms of post-secondary education and higher education institutions.
  9. Social Security issues will also increase as they limiting the work that they are focusing on, delay of entitlement
  10. Waiving notary requirements for pleading, charges, or other documents;
  11. Canceling child support hearings as a result of COVID19 social distancing requirements;
  12. unemployment hearings when employers don’t want to pay for unemployment for reducing hours
  13. Federal Income Tax
    1. Extension on 2019 Income Tax Filing Deadline
    2. Other tax relief (common after disasters)


  1. Guardianships & Supportive Decision Making
  2. Emergency Custody Modifications or Enforcements
  3. Powers of Attorney (for the care of a child or senior)
  4. Domestic Violence Issues (including protective orders)


  1. Influx of kids coming into the system, unnecessary placement at RTC/facilities
  2. Social service disruption will leave kids in unsafe environments
    1. Courts/Agency unwilling to look at processing kinship orders to allow kids to go with family members


  1. Access to Health Care
  2. Insurance claims
  3. Mental Health
  4. Discrimination against people with disabilities if healthcare or medical interventions are in short supply, or become rationed.
  5. Failure to properly protect and treat the health conditions of individuals with COVID-19 or other disabilities who are in institutions or in confinement.  
  6. Employment issues of personal care aides who are unable to do their job and maintain a 6-foot distance
  7. Age discrimination in the provision of medical care
  8. Holds placed on medications identified by a member of government as having the potential to help with COVID19, and then being withheld from individuals who regularly take the medication for some other medical condition;
  9. Transitioning out of facilities/institutions and unreasonable delays and denials, denying community integration because of previous placement
  10. Appeals process for HHSC in processing community services, unreasonable delays


  1. Utility Shutoffs
  2. Evictions
  3. Landlord-Tenant Issues
  4. Foreclosure Prevention
  5. Denial of housing based on COVID (or association of) fair housing
  6. Homeless population not being addressed and provided access to services for COVID-19
  7. PHA obligations to protect and accommodate residents from and with COVID-19
  8. Temporary housing - hotel/motel residents being “evicted”


  1. Unemployment Applications/Appeals
    1. Disaster Unemployment Assistance if available
  2. Public Benefits Applications/Appeals
  3. Inability to pay fines/fees
  4. New disaster, pandemic benefit programs being created


  1. Civil Rights
    1. Quarantine Proceedings Chapter 81 
    2. Expanded power of government during a state of emergency (lockdowns; use of force; restrictions on movement; restrictions on speech; commandeering private property; sunset clauses)
    3. Enforcement of Shelter in Place, Stay at Home, and Curfew orders- Class C misdemeanors and enhancements
    4. Habeas/TRO for civil (immigration) detainees
    5. Restrictions on access to counsel and access to legal mail for civil (immigration) detainees
    6. Court proceedings functionally closed to the public
    7. Access to voting
  2. Immigration
    1. ICE Detention (conditions; access to treatment; quarantine)
    2. CBP Detention (conditions; access to treatment; quarantine)
    3. Enforcement (raids; checkpoints; sensitive locations; quarantine zones)
    4. Immigration Courts (closing/ limited functions)
    5. Migrant Protection Protocols
    6. USCIS (Field Offices, Service Centers: closing / limited functions)
    7. Consular processing unavailable
    8. Border restrictions/closure for asylum seekers
  3. Institutional Rights
    1. Since court not in session-no investigations, discharges, hearings
    2. Private psych hospitals furloughing staff, limited options for mental health treatment
    3. Police officer detentions for mental health concerns would normally take to ER for mental health concerns, now doing what?
    4. No regulatory investigations being conducted for state-supported living center/LTC
    5. Clients Rights officers at institutions not considered essential staff, so clients have no way to voice concerns or violations
  4. Probation
    1. Transitioning out of probation to enrollment in public school-will they delay/deny access to education
    2. Unnecessary quarantines once released
  5. Special populations – increased risk of illness
    1. Homeless populations
    2. Mass care settings
      1. Nursing homes
      2. Mental Health facilities
      3. Jails and Prisons
      4. Immigration Detention Centers (ICE and CBP)


  1. Legal Counsel for Community Organizations/Small Businesses
    1. SBA disaster loans
    2. Disaster unemployment assistance
    3. Insurance claims
    4. Commercial lease evictions/negotiation
    5. Bankruptcies
  2. Pro Se Clients
    1. Questions about modified procedures for judicial and admin proceedings (continuances; appearing remotely; what are “essential” versus “non-essential” proceedings)
    2. Pro se access to e-filing and technology for virtual proceedings
  3. Wills and Estates
    1. Estate Planning- Wills, TODDs, Advance Directives (prompted by health concerns)
      1. Holographic wills
    2. Probate/Heirship
    3. Online notary
    4. Life insurance
    5. Small estate affidavits
    6. MERP
  4. Title Clearing
    1. Real Property
      1. Tax exemptions
      2. Title clearing for estate planning
        • MHU: Statement of Ownership
  5. Emergency Management
    1. Accessibility to testing and testing sites
    2. Accessibility to all information, effective communication (orders posted on-line not accessible, no translators, etc.)
    3. How to legally enforce shelter-in-place orders, potential mental health accommodations
    4. Inconsistencies in defining essential and non-essential businesses, no continuity across OEM and may deny services to IWD
    5. Quarantine measures-effective communication concerns, notice requirements
    6. Will grants for PA consider needs of IWD to allow accessibility and effective communication
    7. Local jurisdictions orders to shut businesses/services-that IWD may rely upon denies access to necessities
    8. FEMA- if additional IA assistance comes into play
      • Funeral and burial assistance
      • Rental assistance
      • Critical needs assistance
      • Disaster Unemployment