KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As part of the effort to help residents of St. Louis city and county recover from the severe July storms and flooding, the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program has been activated to help people cover the costs of necessary expenses and serious disaster-related needs that are not covered by insurance or other programs.
According to federal and state disaster recovery officials, IFG grants may be used to cover disaster-related expenses such as essential home repairs, replacement of personal property and transportation. Grants may also be used for items not normally covered under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan programs such as medical and dental bills and funeral expenses.
The amount of the grant depends on the unmet needs of the applicant. The national average amount of grants under the IFG program is $2,600. To date, there have been 257 grants, totaling more than $251,000 approved because of the July storms and flooding.
The program is administered by each state, which also pays 25% of the grant amount. The federal government provides the remaining 75% of the costs for grant awards.
Recovery officials point out that disaster victims do not directly apply for grants, but must begin the process by registering for disaster assistance by calling the toll-free registration number at 1-800-462-9029 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585). Applicants may be required to apply to SBA for a disaster loan. If the SBA rules an applicant ineligible for a loan, or if the loan amount is insufficient, SBA refers the application to the IFG program for consideration.
Applicants are urged to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 to get information about the grants and other disaster assistance programs. Persons who are hearing- or speech-impaired may call the TTY Helpline at 1-800-660-8005.