A Eurobodalla woman who evacuated during summer's bushfires had her car packed with precious belongings stolen by a tomahawk-wielding man, then was denied compensation by her insurance company.
This is one of the many cases where Legal Aid NSW has stepped in to help - so far this year it has provided over 650 pieces of advice to people affected by fire and floods on the South Coast.
"Certainly we've dealt with a lot of disasters, but not of this magnitude. This is like nothing we've seen before," Legal Aid solicitor Sharlene Naismith said.
"This unprecedented situation gives rise to many problems people may not have expected."
Ms Naismith said the Eurobodalla woman's insurer originally told her she was unable to claim insurance on her car as she had her keys inside it at the time it was stolen.
But she said after Legal Aid reviewed the woman's policy it found this interpretation was incorrect as the exclusion clause actually required the car to be unlocked and unattended as well as containing the keys, while the woman had been nearby at the time of the incident.
Legal Aid lodged an official complaint, and a day later the insurer stated they would allow the claim to proceed.
The service outlined other cases where it provided assistance in its submission to the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
For instance, a tenancy case in the Bega Valley is that of a couple who appeared to have a water tank contaminated by the bushfires at their rental premises, which was ignored by their landlord and rental agent.
The agent incorrectly issued a notice of termination alleging non-payment of rent, which was later withdrawn, but then the couple received another notice of termination "which appears to be retaliatory" so Legal Aid provided advice about the termination notice and referred the couple to their local Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service.
Another Bega Valley example is where Legal Aid assisted a family of seven gain $5000-worth of compensation from the husband's insurer for failing to provide temporary accommodation assistance.
Ms Naismith said the majority of assistance Legal Aid had provided on the South Coast was for insurance issues, followed by access to disaster welfare, and tenancy, credit and debit problems.
But the job is not over yet - she has encouraged people to contact her service if they still need legal support.
"The take home message is just because someone tells you that you can't do something, it doesn't mean they are right; especially when it comes to legal problems," she said.
"At the end of the day you are a consumer, you have a contract and the terms of your contract are in your policy.
"That's a legal relationship your lawyer can give you advice about."
If you require legal assistance, especially for flood-related problems, call the Disaster Response Legal Service on 1800 801 529.