A flood, fire and other disasters are devastating to families. Thankfully, there is assistance you can take advantage of.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides help to many of those in need; homeowners and others that need special aid when a disaster strikes.
What do you have to do to get assistance? Just ask for it. Here’s how.
Although the government and its workers are not always quick to respond, you can get the process started by visiting this link. You can also call the FEMA helpline at (800)621-3362. You will enjoy an automated voice service but be patient and you should have your questions answered.
After you apply for disaster assistance, FEMA will mail you a copy of your application and a copy of a document entitled “Help After a Disaster.” This is especially helpful if you don’t have insurance coverage for the disaster event your family is facing. This happens more than you think.
Here is what FEMA says they will do for you, in part, according to the government website:
- If you do not have insurance: An inspector will contact you after you apply to schedule a time to meet you at your damaged home.
- If you have insurance, you need to file your insurance claim and provide FEMA with a decision letter (settlement or denial) from your insurance company before FEMA issues an inspection.
- There is an exception for damages caused by flooding; if you have flood insurance, FEMA will issue an inspection before receiving a copy of your flood insurance decision letter to evaluate your eligibility for temporary living expenses since these are not covered by flood insurance.
- About 10 days after the inspection FEMA will decide if you qualify for assistance. If so, FEMA will send you a check by mail (or direct deposit) with an explanation of what the money covers (i.e. rent or home repair).
- If FEMA determines that you are ineligible for any reason, you will receive a letter and be given a chance to appeal. Appeals must be in writing and mailed within 60 days of the determination. Read the letter carefully for the reason of ineligibility before filing your appeal.