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Noncitizens May Be Eligible for Disaster Recovery Aid

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Release date: 
September 30, 2011
Release Number: 

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Those affected by Hurricane Irene who are not U.S. citizens -- but are in the United States legally -- can still apply for state and federal disaster assistance.

In addition, parents and guardians of a child who is a citizen, noncitizen national or qualified alien may apply for assistance on behalf of the child.

People issued a legal permanent resident card -- commonly referred to as “a green card” -- may apply for assistance if they have disaster-related losses. Other noncitizens who can register with FEMA include those with legal resident status because of asylum, refugee status, parole status, suspension of deportation status or status as victims of domestic violence.

Applicants should register by calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 800-462-7585. Help in all languages is available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Registration for disaster assistance also can be made online at

Once individuals are registered, FEMA disaster recovery specialists at the toll-free helpline or at an area disaster recovery center can answer questions about their application or review information FEMA needs to process the application. Recovery specialists can supply contacts for other programs -- those operated by volunteer organizations such as the American Red Cross -- that may be able to help.

Applicants can find the nearest disaster recovery center by calling FEMA’s helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or online at or at and clicking on the “Hurricane Irene” tab.

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.

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.

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
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