Apply for Assistance Even if You Have Insurance

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Release date: 
October 24, 2011
Release Number: 

WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Disaster assistance programs may provide grants for damage and losses not covered by insurance. That is why insured individuals in Berkshire and Franklin counties affected by Tropical Storm Irene from August 27-29 are urged by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to apply for assistance.

“We want everyone who is eligible for assistance to receive help as soon as possible,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark H. Landry “Even if you are insured, don’t miss out on possible disaster recovery funds. Register now and we’ll let you know if you qualify for one or more of the disaster programs that are helping individuals and business owners recover.”

Disaster assistance can include grants to help pay for:

  • Temporary housing, emergency home repairs and rental assistance
  • Medical, dental and funeral expenses
  • Repairing wells and septic tanks
  • Essential personal property
  • Transportation

In addition, low-interest disaster loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners and renters as well as for business owners.

“Call to register with FEMA now,” said State Coordinating Officer Kurt Schwartz. “Then re-contact FEMA, even after the application deadline, when you receive your insurance settlement to update your information.”

By law, FEMA cannot duplicate what insurance already covers, and it cannot pay deductibles. If, however, a settlement does not cover all eligible losses, disaster assistance may be available to cover the difference.  Applicants will be asked to submit proof of the insurance settlement.

Applicants can call the FEMA toll-free registration number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for individuals with a speech or hearing disability. Lines are open from

7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.  Residents also can register online at or on a smartphone and other mobile devices at 24 hours a day.

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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