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FEMA Disaster Assistance: What You Need To Know. If you are a disaster survivor, you may qualify for federal assistance.

by | | Last Updated On November 02, 2017

FEMA Disaster Assistance: What You Need To Know. If you are a disaster survivor, you may qualify for federal assistance.

If you are a disaster survivor, you may qualify for federal assistance. FEMA disaster assistance application expires November 30, 2017.

Here are other things residents need to know:

Where To Apply

Residents who suffered losses may register in the following ways:

  • By going online – www.DisasterAssistance.gov
  • If you have a smartphone, download the FEMA app at https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
  • By phone – 800-621-3362
  • By TTY – 800-462-7585
  • By 711 or video relay services – 800-621-3362
  • The telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Watler said they will remain so until further notice.

  • What Might Be Covered

    FEMA assistance for individuals may include grants that cover such things as:

  • Rent
  • Temporary housing
  • Home repairs to primary residences
  • Medical, dental or funeral costs
  • “If you have insurance, FEMA may still be able to assist with disaster-related expenses that were underinsured or not covered by your policy,” Watler said.

    What Happens Next

    Once an application is filed, a FEMA inspector will reach out to schedule an inspection appointment with the applicant. Inspections generally take about 40 minutes or less and include verification of disaster-related losses and a review of ownership or residency records, he added. There is no cost for an inspection.

    REMINDER: Make sure to ask for a FEMA housing inspector’s ID before an inspection begins to avoid scams.

    It takes FEMA up to two weeks to schedule an inspection appointment. After the inspection, FEMA will review the situation and notify the applicant by email or physical mail about the claim decision.

    It is recommended applicants have these documents available for the inspection:

  • Property owners – Proof of ownership, such as tax records, a mortgage payment book or copy of a homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • Property owners and renters – Proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, utility bill or recent first-class government mail sent to the address or insurance policies
  • Renters – A copy of the lease agreement

  • Follow Up With FEMA

  • After registering for assistance, survivors will receive a letter regarding their application status. Some applicants may receive a text message or email if they have signed up for those services. The notification will explain the status of the application and how to respond.
  • It is important to read the letter carefully. Many times applicants will need to submit some extra documents for FEMA to process their application.
  • Do not be discouraged if you get a letter saying you need to provide additional information in order to be eligible for assistance.
  • If you get a decision letter that you don’t understand, or it doesn’t seem correct, you should visit a DRC or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Often it is something simple that can be cleared up with additional information.
  • FEMA Online Application

    What you will need.....

    The online registration process will take 18-20 minutes.

  • If you are applying for both home and business disaster assistance, complete one registration to cover both.
  • If you are applying for multiple disasters, you will need to complete a registration for each disaster.

  • What you will need when filling out the application:

    Social Security Number (SSN)
  • The primary applicant’s SSN or
  • The SSN of a minor child in the household who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National or Qualified Alien.

  • (NOTE: If you, your co-applicant, or a minor child in the household are a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National, or a Qualified Alien and do not have a social security number, FEMA will not be able to complete a registration. The Social Security number is required for Identity Verification purposes.)

    If registering for a business, the SSN of the person responsible for the business is required.

    Financial information
  • Family's total gross household income at the time of the disaster.

  • Contact Information
  • Address and phone number of damaged dwelling.
  • Current mailing address and phone numbers where you can be contacted.

  • Insurance Information
  • Identify the types of insurance coverage you have.

  • Pen and Paper 
  • To record Registration ID number.

  • Electronic Funds Transfer/Direct Deposit Information

    If you are determined to be eligible for assistance and would prefer funds be transferred directly to your account, you must provide the following banking information:

  • Institution name
  • Type of account
  • Routing and account number

  • If you need further information or assistance:

    Call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362). This number is also for users of 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS). TTY users can call 1-800-462-7585. Helpline services are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

    Call FEMA's Internet Help Desk at 1-800-745-0243. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    To learn more about disaster assistance, read the Applicant Guide (requires Adobe Reader), view Federally Declared Disasters by Calendar Year, or review support from other available Agencies.




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