FEDERAL DISASTER AID PROGRAMS 7/4/2012 11:00 AM

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for Florida.
Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)

Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)

Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals. (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)

Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)

Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)

Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)

Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.

Apply Online at DisasterAssistance.gov or apply via a smartphone at m.fema.gov
Apply by Phone: Call (800) 621-3362 or call TTY (800) 462-7585 for people with speech or hearing disabilities.

If you can, register your application online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

Registering online is one of the best methods to complete an application and avoid busy signals on the telephone. If information is gathered prior to starting the application, the process should take approximately 20 minutes.

If someone does not have access to a computer where they are currently sheltered or housed they can:

Check the local library where computers may be available.
Or, they may call an out-of-state friend or relative and have that individual apply for assistance via the Internet on their behalf. FEMA can accept an application from any person but will only provide follow-up information to the individual needing assistance. Applicants should share personal information only with trusted individuals.

Please note: The Internet application expires after 30 minutes as a security precaution, and information entered will be lost if applicants do not complete the process within this time period. We strongly encourage you to have information you need to apply ready before starting the process.
All you need to do to check the status of your application online is to visit DisasterAssistance.gov.. Use the pin and password that was created when you registered. If you registered by phone, you can easily create an account to check the status of your application online.

Those who encounter difficulties while registering online can call the FEMA Technical Helpdesk toll-free 1-800-745-0243, during regular telephone registration hours. This number is for technical assistance only.

If you are registering or checking the status of your application by phone:

If you get a busy signal, try to call in the evening after 6:00 p.m. or on the weekends when call volumes tend to be lighter.