Free legal advice, assistance and referrals are available to anyone affected by recent bushfires in north-east Victoria or over the coming months.

Disaster Legal Help provides a one-stop shop of information on a number of legal issues including insurance, fencing, wills and estates and replacing lost or destroyed title documents.

People affected by any disaster, including the recent bushfires, can call Disaster Legal Help Victoria’s free helpline on 1800 113 432 to get free information about legal issues and options for ongoing assistance. The phone line is open Monday to Friday 8:45 am to 5:15 pm Monday to Friday. There are also a number of up-to-date fact sheets available at http://www.disasterlegalhelp.org.au.

Disaster Legal Help co-ordinates the legal sector’s response to disasters, and is a collaboration between Victoria Legal Aid, Federation of Community Legal Centres, Law Institute of Victoria, Victoria Law Foundation, Justice Connect and the Victorian Bar.

Spokesperson Kerry O’Shea said the partnership was established after the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009. 'Our experience is that the top legal issues that people have to deal with after an emergency include insurance, property, tenancy, emergency and crisis assistance payments, lost or destroyed title documents and fencing,' she said.

The legal information factsheets covered on the website include accommodation; emergency and crisis assistance; CFA compensation scheme; personal injury; managing debt; a guide to judgment debt options; challenging a Centrelink decision; property; early access to superannuation; tenancy; employment; parenting, property and child support; utilities; fencing; insurance; wills and estates; deceased estates; replacing lost or destroyed title documents; storms, floods insurance and you; and getting a personal hardship prepaid card.