Steps To Applying For FEMA Assistance

Vermonters recovering from the impact of Tropical Storm Irene in Chittenden, Rutland, Washington, Windham, Windsor counties can now apply for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Assistance for losses sustained anytime after the storm which began on August 27 may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help recover from the effects of the disaster.

The original federal declaration issued had indicated that the incident period began on, August 29. That has now been amended to include August 27-28. Also, an additional county, Windham, was designated as eligible for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program today.

“The people of Vermont are going through a tough time right now and we are here ready to help,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Craig Gilbert. “FEMA may not be able to cover all expenses, but it can offer a good start on the road to recovery.”

Even those with insurance may be eligible for help from FEMA if their insurance policy does not cover all their needs.

This is how the process works:

Step 1: Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There are several ways to register:

When applying for aid you will receive a nine-digit registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA.

It is helpful to have the following information handy:

  • Current telephone number;
  • Address at the time of the disaster and current address;
  • Social Security number, if available;
  • A general list of damages and losses;
  • If insured, the name of insurance company, agent and policy number; and
  • Bank routing number for any direct deposit.

Step 2: Receive a property inspection.

Within a few days after registering, eligible applicants will be telephoned to make an appointment to have their damaged property inspected. The inspectors, who are FEMA contractors and carry identification badges, visit to make a record of damage. They do not make a determination regarding assistance. There is no cost for the inspection.

Step 3: All applicants will receive a letter from FEMA regarding the status of their requests for federal assistance. Some will also receive an application for a low-interest disaster recovery loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Anyone who has questions about the letter from FEMA should call the helpline(800-621-3362 or TTY, 800-462-7585).

Those who receive an application packet from the SBA should complete and submit the forms. No one is required to accept a loan but submitting the application may open the door to additional FEMA grants.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

SBA disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET or by sending an e-mail todisastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.govor completed on-line at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

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