BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Almost three weeks after the Alabama tornadoes, more than 68,000 individuals or households have registered for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More than $38 million has already been approved to help them.
But for some survivors, the status of their request for federal assistance is dependent on insurance settlements and the need for additional information.
FEMA is prohibited from duplicating benefits from insurance companies and other sources. That is why FEMA asks applicants for insurance information – why some may receive a letter saying they are ineligible as their insurance company processes their claim.
Anyone who has questions about a letter from FEMA should call 800-621-3362 or go to a disaster recovery center, where they can get one-on-one help with responding to any correspondence from FEMA.
To underscore the importance of insurance information, FEMA representatives are making thousands of calls to remind applicants to provide policy details and report on any progress regarding their insurance claim.
This is part of a larger state-federal coordinated effort to assist survivors through the recovery process.
“FEMA strives to make sure that survivors receive every dollar for which they are eligible,’’ said Michael Byrne, federal coordinating officer for the Alabama recovery operation.
Here’s what applicants can do in the meantime:
- Go to a disaster recovery center, where you can talk one-on-one about your situation. You can also call FEMA with questions at 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585.
- Stay in touch with FEMA. Make sure you have provided good contact information, such as a cellphone or work number.
- Call FEMA or visit a disaster recovery center when you settle with your insurance company. Bring the documents with you. A recovery specialist can fax the documents for you.
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.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
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