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Top Ten Reasons Why People Haven't Applied for FEMA Disaster Assistance

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Release date: 
November 4, 2010
Release Number: 

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.­­ —With just two weeks left to apply for disaster assistance before the Nov. 17 deadline, disaster officials have come up with their own Top Ten List of reasons why people in DuPage and Cook County say they have not applied for assistance.

Here’s the Top Ten List:

Number 10:     I didn’t know there was any assistance available for the (July 19 to Aug. 7) flooding.
Number 9:       I thought the assistance was welfare and I wouldn’t qualify.
Number 8:       I thought you had to live in the City of Chicago to qualify.
Number 7:       I thought any assistance would be taxable or affect my Social Security payments.
Number 6:       I thought you couldn’t apply if you have already cleaned up and made the repairs.
Number 5:       I thought you could only receive a loan … and I don’t want a loan.
Number 4:       I thought the media just said assistance was “denied” for Cook and DuPage County.
                      (That only applied to infrastructure damages for municipalities and state agencies.)
Number 3:       I thought renters couldn’t get assistance, just homeowners.
Number 2:       I thought if you had insurance (a sewer back-up rider) you couldn’t apply.

And the Number 1 Reason is:

                        I thought I applied months ago when I reported my damages to local officials or filled out a                                                   form for my county.

The real answer is: If you had damages and losses from the July 19 to Aug. 7 flooding, you may be eligible for disaster assistance. More than 130,000 people have already applied and nearly $300 million in grants that do not have to be repaid has been approved for those who are eligible. Don’t miss out on disaster assistance!

Apply as soon as possible before the Nov. 17 deadline by going online at or call toll-free 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available to assist with your call.    

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


Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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