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Disaster Assistance: Lost Documents

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded

In times like this, important papers, legal and otherwise, can get lost, destroyed, or are just unreachable. Here are some suggestions for how to get replacements, or help with replacements. #9903EN


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Important papers, legal and otherwise, can get lost, destroyed, or are just unreachable. Here are some suggestions for getting replacements or help with replacements.   

U.S. Mail - Service Changes 
Contact your local or closest post office to make a change of address, pick up mail, or call 800-ASK-USPS (275-8777) for assistance available to evacuees.

Bank Accounts, Credit and ATM cards
If you do not have an ATM card, or the disaster destroyed your bank, contact your bank in-person, online or by phone. For more info, visit https://www.fdic.gov/.

Credit Cards
Call the bank that issued the card to get a new one as soon as possible. Ask them to waive payments, late fees and over limit fees.

Children’s Immunization Records
Visit the state’s registry for more info:.

Deeds and Mortgages
Your County Clerk has these documents, if you recorded them for filing.  If the disaster destroyed your originals, you can likely get copies here if you need them. 

Driver’s License
If you lost your driver’s or other license because of the disaster, the Department of Licensing sometimes offers help getting a replacement quickly.  

Food Stamps and EBT Card
The toll-­‐free Customer Contact Center, 1­877­501­2233, is available 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday   - Friday for general info. You can also visit https://www.washingtonconnection.org.

Immigration Documents
You can replace your permanent resident card or your two-year card by filing a USCIS Form I-90. For more info, visit https://www.uscis.gov/.

Insurance Documents
Contact your insurance agency.

Medicare cards
For Medicare cards, visit the Social Security office to ask for a replacement card.

Social Security Cards and Payments
To get your Social Security check, go to the nearest Social Security office. To find it, call 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778). You can get emergency payments if needed. For more info, log onto www.socialsecurity.gov/emergency.

We adapted this from materials authored by Lone Star Legal Aid with their permission.



This publication provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities.  It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. 
This information is current as of February 2018.

© 2018 Northwest Justice Project — 1-888-201-1014
(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.)



Last Review and Update: Feb 27, 2018