Courtesy of iii.org
Eligible for FEMA Relief
F. How can I tell if my area has been declared a disaster that qualifies for FEMA assistance?
A. The DiasterAssistance.gov website has a tool to help you find out if you live in a declared disaster area.
F. If I got disaster relief last year, could I get it again this year?
A. Help may be available if you have been injured in a previous, federally declared disaster.
F. My child is an American citizen, but I am not. Can I apply for FEMA emergency assistance?
A. If someone in an affected household is a US citizen, non-citizen or qualified alien (also known as a Green Card holder), he or she is eligible to apply for FEMA emergency assistance.
If a minor child is eligible according to these criteria, even when other family members are not, the family may submit an application on behalf of the child. In this case, all identity documents must be under the child's name and social security number. A copy of the child's social insurance card and birth certificate is acceptable verification. This information can be sent to FEMA or taken to a disaster recovery center.
F. Can FEMA support affect my social benefits, federal taxes, food stamp (SNAP) or Medicaid?
A. No. FEMA support does not affect benefits from other federal programs and is not considered taxable income.
Applying for FEMA support
F. If I live in a declared disaster area, how do I apply for FEMA assistance?
A. You can apply at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline. For comprehensive information on the program, FEMA offers a downloadable book entitled Individuals, Households Program Unified Guidance .
F. How is the inspection process after I applied for disaster relief?
The process differs slightly depending on your insurance situation.
A. If you do not have insurance, an inspector will contact you once you have applied for a schedule to meet you at your damaged home.
If you have homeowners' insurance, you must submit your insurance claim and provide FEMA with a decision letter (settlement or refusal) from your insurance company before FEMA issues an inspection. There is an exception for situations where the damage is caused by flooding and you have flood insurance. In that case, FEMA will issue an inspection before receiving a copy of your flood insurance decision letter to evaluate your eligibility for temporary housing costs as these are not covered by flood insurance. How soon do I know if I am eligible for assistance?
A. Approximately ten days after the inspection, FEMA will determine if you are eligible for assistance. In that case, FEMA sends a check by post (or direct deposit) with an explanation of what the money covers (ie rent or home repair).
F. What happens if FEMA says I do not qualify for assistance?
A. If FEMA determines that you are not entitled for any reason, you will receive a letter and be given a chance to appeal. Appeals must be in writing and sent within 60 days of the decision. Please read the letter carefully for the reason why you are not entitled before you appeal.
F. After I applied for disaster relief, I received an application for a disaster loan (Small Business Administration). What is it for?
A. The SBA offers low-interest emergency loans to help small businesses and homeowners recover. To be eligible for a loan or certain types of grants, such as transportation, personal property and moving and storage, you must complete and return the application.
F. Will my family get help faster if we apply individually?
A. No. If two members of the same household apply for the same damaged home, FEMA support may actually be delayed. If more than one household member has applied, additional registrants should call the FEMA Helpline to withdraw their applications. When this happens, the original registration for the household can be processed for help.
F. I have already cleaned the damage to my home and made repairs. Is it too late to register when the work is done?
A. No. You may be eligible for reimbursement of your remediation and repair costs, even if the repairs are completed. The important thing is to document your expenses. It is a good idea to take pictures before and after your tasks.
FEMA payments for rent support
F. Why did I not receive rental assistance when my home could not live?
A. If you cannot live in your home due to disaster damage and you did not receive rental assistance, contact FEMA to check your status. It may be that during the inspection you stated that you did not want to move. In that case, FEMA would not proceed with issuing a rental assistant check for you to relocate.
F. How long will FEMA provide rental support?
A. Rental assistance can be provided for up to 1
A. As soon as you receive an insurance settlement, you should send a copy to FEMA and identify any unmet needs you have. Although FEMA may not be able to duplicate benefits provided by your insurance, FEMA may be able to help you with lost essential items that are not covered by insurance and may also help you find resources through other recovery partners.
F. Why did I get a different amount of home repair help than my neighbor?
A. The case of each survivor is unique. There are several factors involved, including insurance status and the extent and type of damage discovered during the home inspection. If you feel that the support you received does not cover your needs – for example, the funding you received for repairs is less than the estimates you received from contractors and you have not yet met FEMA's maximum contribution – you can appeal.  Additional Resources
FEMA Helpline: 1-800- FEMA (1-800-621-3362)
711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) 1-800-621-3362
FEMA Individuals, Household Software Unified Guidance Book Download
SBA Disaster Loans & Grants