FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Think you are not eligible for federal and Commonwealth disaster assistance because you have property insurance?
Although insurance is essential to a swift recovery from the Aug. 4 severe storms and flooding in Jefferson County, you still may be eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Commonwealth of Kentucky even if you settle with your insurance company.
If you have not already contacted your insurance agent to file a claim, do it as soon as possible. Failure to do so may affect your eligibility for disaster assistance. After submitting a claim, FEMA may be able to provide assistance if:
- Your insurance settlement is delayed. Delayed means it's been more than 30 days since you filed a claim with your insurance company and there's still been no decision. You will need to write a letter to FEMA explaining the circumstance. You should include documentation from the insurance company proving you filed the claim. If you submitted your claim over the telephone, you should include the claim number, the date you filed and an estimate of how long it will take to receive your settlement. Any help awarded by FEMA is considered an advance and must be repaid to FEMA once an insurance settlement is received.
- Your insurance settlement is insufficient. If you have received the maximum settlement from insurance, and still have an unmet disaster-related need, you will need to write a letter to FEMA explaining your request. You should send a copy of any documentation received from your insurance company related to your settlement.
- You have used up the "Additional Living Expenses" provided by your insurance company. If you have received the maximum settlement for additional living expenses and still need temporary housing as a result of the disaster, you should provide documentation of the exhausted insurance benefits and your permanent housing plan.
- You are unable to locate rental housing. The FEMA Helpline has a list of rental resources in the disaster area. If nothing is available in your county, then the helpline agent can provide available housing options in an adjacent county.
You have up to12 months from the date you registered with FEMA to submit your insurance information for review. By law, FEMA cannot provide money for losses that are covered by insurance.
For more information and instructions, call FEMA's helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or the TTY line at 800-462-7585 for the hearing-or-speech impaired. The helpline is open from 6 a.m. to midnight daily until further notice. You can register by phone or online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.