Will FEMA Help You? Probably. But there are conditions.
FEMA may provide help for you if you don’t have insurance on your home if you’re underinsured, meaning you’re not insured for enough to cover losses. Renters may also be eligible for help.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) also connects you to low-interest loans for businesses of all sizes and non-profits, homeowners and renters. Again, these loans only cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other assistance.
If you are a homeowner or renter primarily living in one of the counties declared a disaster area by Gov. Brown, you may apply for grants (which do not have to be repaid) to help pay for:
- Temporary housing
- Essential home repairs
- Uninsured and underinsured personal property losses
- Other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
Even if you believe you have adequate insurance, it’s smart to register now. You insurance may not be as adequate as you think. Once you receive your settlement, you may still have uncompensated losses that you can file with FEMA.
You may apply now online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
You will be asked for the following information:
- Social Security number
- Address of the damaged primary residence
- Description of the damage
- Information about insurance coverage
- A current contact telephone number
- An address where you can receive mail
- Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds
FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
If you do not qualify for a grant, you can appeal FEMA’s decision. You must make your appeal in writing. Include detailed information that may have been omitted the first time.
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