INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- People who are not U.S. citizens--but who are in the United States legally--may be eligible for disaster assistance for damage from the Sept. 12- Oct. 6 severe storms and flooding, according to officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"We don't want any residents who might be eligible to miss out on valuable disaster assistance that could help them get back on their feet," said Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen M. DeBlasio, Sr. "When someone is in doubt, he or she should apply for assistance. FEMA will determine his or her eligibility."
Disaster assistance is available to residents and business owners in 16 Indiana counties, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Knox, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Martin, Pike, Porter, Spencer and Switzerland. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or qualified aliens to receive FEMA monetary assistance. Their legal status will not be jeopardized by applying for assistance.
Qualified aliens include:
- Individuals with Lawful Permanent Residency (holders of "green cards");
- Individuals with refugee or asylum status;
- Individuals whose deportation has been withheld;
- Individuals on parole in the U.S. for at least one year for humanitarian purposes;
- Individuals with conditional entry;
- Cuban or Haitian entrants; and,
- Individuals with petitions for relief based on battery or extreme cruelty by a family member.
Assistance can be given as long as someone in a household is entitled to it, and no information will be gathered regarding the status of other household members. For example, a parent or guardian who is not eligible for assistance can still apply on behalf of a minor child who is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien. The guardian only certifies for the child; no information will be gathered on the adult's status.
Undocumented immigrants from a household with no one eligible for FEMA financial assistance may be eligible for programs run by state, local or voluntary agencies. They may also be eligible for short-term, non-cash aid from FEMA, such as disaster legal services and crisis counseling.
Those affected by the recent disaster can apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with multilingual operators available at all times. Individuals can also register online at www.fema.gov. Registration deadline is Dec. 8.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.