Legal Non-Citizens May Be Eligible for Disaster Recovery Aid

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Release date: 
October 21, 2011
Release Number: 

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Those affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee who are not U.S. citizens  but are in the United States legally -- can apply for state and federal disaster assistance.

Individuals 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.

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.

Applicants should register by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 to register for federal disaster aid if they had damage from Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee and live in one of the counties designated under the disaster declarations. If they use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), the number to call is 1-800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered seven days a week from

7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Applicants can also register online at or by smart phone or tablet at If anyone has a disability and needs help registering, they should not hesitate to contact FEMA to ask for help. Help is available in all languages.

Once individuals are registered, FEMA disaster recovery specialists at the toll-free helpline or at a disaster recovery center (DRC) can answer questions about their application or review information FEMA needs to process the application. Recovery specialists at the DRCs may provide contacts for other programs -- those operated by volunteer organizations such as the American Red Cross, for example -- that may be able to help. Applicants can find the nearest disaster recovery center by calling FEMA's helpline at 1-800-621-3362 or online at

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 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 1-800-462-7585.

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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