TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Volusia County residents who are not U.S. citizens, but who are in the United States legally, may be eligible for disaster aid, according to state and federal officials.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or qualified aliens to receive FEMA disaster grants. Their legal status will not be jeopardized by applying for assistance.
Qualified aliens include:
- Individuals with Lawful Permanent Residency (holders of "green cards");
- Those with refugee or asylum status;
- Those whose deportation has been withheld;
- Those on parole in the U.S. for at least one year for humanitarian purposes;
- Those with conditional entry; and
- Those with petitions for relief based on battery or extreme cruelty by a family member.
Disaster aid can be given as long as someone in the pre-disaster household is eligible. No information will be required regarding the status of other household members. For example, a parent or legal guardian who is not eligible for assistance can still apply on behalf of a minor child who is a U.S. citizen. The adult only certifies for the child; no information will be gathered on the adult's status.
Households with no one eligible for FEMA financial assistance may still 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.
Volusia County residents who sustained losses or damages from the storms that began May 17 are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and let agency officials determine whether or not they are eligible for disaster assistance.
Multilingual operators are available to assist storm survivors via their toll-free telephone number, 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY)-1-800-462-7585, for the hearing-or speech- impaired. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Registrations can also be completed online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.