What is Disaster Assistance?
Disaster assistance is money or direct assistance to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance. It is meant to help you with critical expenses that cannot be covered in other ways. This assistance is not intended to restore your damaged property to its condition before the disaster.
While some housing assistance funds are available through our Individuals and Households Program, most disaster assistance from the Federal government is in the form of loans administered by the Small Business Administration.
For disaster assistance information, you may want to read "Help After a Disaster, Applicant's Guide to the Individuals & Households Program"
Disaster Assistance available from FEMA
Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can make federally subsidized loans to repair or replace homes, personal property or businesses that sustained damages not covered by insurance. The Small Business Administration can provide three types of disaster loans to qualified homeowners and businesses:
For many individuals the SBA disaster loan program is the primary form of disaster assistance. Learn how to apply for SBA disaster loan assistance.
Before you apply:
Do I Qualify for Assistance?
First and foremost, to qualify for assistance, your losses must have occurred in an area covered by a disaster declaration.
Check if your county is covered by a disaster declaration.
Secondly, if you have insurance, you must file a claim with your insurance company.
Is disaster assistance still available if I have insurance?
Two types of disaster assistance, " Housing Needs " and " Other than Housing Needs ", are available to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance.
Do I qualify for "Housing Needs" assistance?
Do I qualify for "Other than Housing Needs" assistance?
What Information do I Need to Apply?
Whether applying online OR over the phone, you should have a pen and paper and the following information ready:
- Your Social Security number.
- Current and pre-disaster address.
- A telephone number where you can be contacted.
- Insurance information.
- Total household annual income
- A routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account)
- A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster.
Note: FEMA verifies the name and social security number of those registering for disaster assistance. If the name and social security number on file with the social security administration does not match the information you provide you will be asked to submit a copy of an original document, e.g. marriage license, military ID, tax documents, etc., for proof of identity. A need to review and update identity documentation may cause delays in delivery of assistance.
After you've completed your application for assistance, you will receive a FEMA application number. Write down this number and keep it for future reference.