TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Your friends or neighbors may not fully understand how the disaster assistance programs work which may have kept them from registering and getting all the recovery help they may be eligible for. Emphasize to friends and neighbors the first step toward obtaining recovery assistance for individuals is to register with FEMA. The deadline to apply is Dec.10.
They might say they have not registered with FEMA because they have insurance. Sometimes damage is found that insurance won’t cover, but federal disaster assistance may.
They may still be waiting for a visit from an insurance adjuster or for an insurance settlement. If so, urge them to go ahead and register with FEMA; insurance may not meet all their disaster related damage incurred needs.
Impacted residents should go ahead with necessary repairs to make their house livable, but they must be sure to keep papers and receipts for all work since FEMA may require this documentation.
Friends, neighbors or family members may think they make too much money to apply for assistance. However, most state and federal disaster assistance programs are available to individuals of all income levels. The kind of help provided depends on the applicant’s circumstances and unmet needs.
Some may say they didn’t sustain enough damage, but there may damage not visible at first that is discovered during repair work that was not on their initial insurance claim. If they are registered for disaster assistance they may be covered.
There are enough disaster funds to take care of every eligible applicant, so they should not worry that they are taking money from other applicants whom they feel need it more.
If you have friends, neighbors or family members who are concerned FEMA disaster assistance will interrupt or interfere with federal assistance they are already receiving, let them know disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, SNAP, Supplemental Security Income or any other federal programs.
How they can register for assistance:
· Log onto DisasterAssistance.gov
· Call 800-621-3362. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or VRS or require accommodations while visiting a center, call 800-621-3362. Toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
· Visit a disaster recovery center. To find the nearest center in Florida, visit fema.gov/DRCLocator
· For more information on Florida recovery, visit Florida State Disaster website floridadisaster.org.