FEMA disaster assistance

Video

Article

​Overview of FEMA disaster assistance and how to apply

If you have been affected by a federally declared disaster, you may qualify for disaster assistance through FEMA's Individuals and Households Program. You must register with FEMA to apply for assistance.

The forms of help available through the Individuals and Households Program are Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance.

Housing Assistance may include funds for home repair, replacement, or temporary housing.

The Other Needs Assistance program provides funds for uninsured, disaster-related necessary expenses. These may include:

  • Medical and dental expenses

  • Repair or replacement of household items or vehicles

  • Moving expenses

  • Other essential expenses related to recovery from the disaster

Homeowners whose losses were not fully compensated may qualify for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. To apply, you must first register with FEMA.

You can apply for FEMA assistance:

  • Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov

  • By Phone at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY -800-462-7585. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered seven days a week.

  • You can visit a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in person

When you apply for disaster assistance, have the following information with you:

  • Social Security number

  • Address of the damaged home or apartment

  • Description of the damage

  • Information about insurance coverage

  • A current contact telephone number and mailing address

  • Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds

After you apply, FEMA will contact you to schedule an appointment with a home inspector. If you qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide you a check by mail or a direct deposit into your checking or savings account, and a letter describing how you are to use the money.

If you do not qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide you a letter explaining why you did not qualify, and an opportunity to appeal the decision.

If you were denied by FEMA and you disagree with FEMA's decision or you want to challenge the amount of FEMA's award, you should appeal the decision. FEMA decisions must be appealed within 60 days of the date of your letter, so you should immediately call Legal Aid at 1-866-219-5262 to apply for legal assistance. FEMA may reconsider its decision at any time if you have new information to provide.

If you were denied a FEMA grant because you did not have a deed or clear title to the home you occupied during the disaster, you should immediately call Legal Aid at 1-866-219-5262 to apply for legal assistance.