Misunderstandings May Cause Some To Miss Out On Disaster Aid

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Release date: 
January 24, 2000
Release Number: 
HQ-00-017

In the confusion that often follows a disaster, half-truths and rumors about how they can find help may mislead residents. When you have suffered a loss, the last thing you need is misinformation. According to state and federal disaster recovery officials, the best way to avoid that problem is to call and ask for yourself just what kind of assistance is available to you.

Kentuckians who suffered damages and losses because of the tornadoes and flash flooding can apply for assistance immediately by calling the FEMA toll-free number, 1-800-462-9029. Those with a speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Disaster victims, who have already applied, also can get information by calling the Helpline at 1-800-525-0321, or TTY- 1-800-660-8005 for the speech or hearing impaired. The Helpline is also open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Some common misconceptions about disaster assistance are:

I have insurance. There is no other help available to me.

I have to wait for my insurance adjuster before I apply for disaster assistance.
Not True: You could qualify for reimbursement of expenses not covered by insurance.

I got help from the Red Cross, so now I can't get help from FEMA or the state.
Not True: Registration with the Red Cross is not the same as registration with FEMA. For federal and state disaster assistance, you must first apply by calling the toll-free registration line -- 1-800-462-9029 (or 1-800-462-7585 TTY).

I have to be poor to qualify for disaster aid.

I have to be turned down by my bank before I can apply for a disaster loan.
Not True: Based on the type and extent of "uninsured" or "underinsured" disaster-related losses and damages, individuals may be eligible for low-interest loans for home or personal property losses.

I rent an apartment. I can't get help to replace my damaged property.

Last Updated: 
July 19, 2012 - 23:02
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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