NEW YORK – The Federal Emergency Management Agency is committed to helping all eligible New York disaster survivors recover from Hurricane Sandy, including U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals and Qualified Aliens.
“New York is a city of neighborhoods,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael F. Byrne. “We are reaching out to all neighborhoods in the disaster-designated counties, recognizing their diversity, their different traditions and dialects and their sense of community. We do not want eligible survivors to miss out on the opportunity for aid.”
FEMA Community Relations specialists are visiting neighborhoods, putting out the word in more than 20 languages that certain groups of Qualified Aliens may be eligible for monetary disaster assistance. They are encouraging Sandy survivors to register with FEMA.
Qualified Aliens who may be eligible for FEMA monetary disaster assistance include Green Card holders – individuals with U.S. government permission to live and work in the country permanently.
Others in the Qualified Alien category include those who have legal U.S. resident status because of:
- Refugee status;
- Parole (admission into the United States for humanitarian purposes) for at least one year;
- Withholding of deportation;
- Immigration from Cuba or Haiti; and
- Severe forms of human trafficking, including persons with “T” and “U” visas.
Applicants should consult an immigration expert concerning whether or not their immigration status falls within the Qualified Alien category.
FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program is available to disaster-stricken U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals and Qualified Aliens in counties with a federal disaster declaration. Federal disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs for owners, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for FEMA cash assistance or Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
However, in households with varying citizenship status, only one member needs to be eligible to qualify that home for FEMA aid.
An undocumented parent or guardian may apply for monetary aid on behalf of a minor child who is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or Qualified Alien. Although the adult will be expected to sign a Declaration and Release (FEMA Form 009-0-3) in the child’s name, no information will be gathered on the person signing for the child.
All individuals, regardless of citizenship status, affected by a major disaster may be eligible for other non-monetary, in-kind emergency disaster relief programs. These include search and rescue, medical care, shelter, food and water as well as Disaster Legal Services and Crisis Counseling.
People who don’t qualify for monetary assistance may still call the FEMA registration line for referrals to voluntary agencies.
Individuals can register for help online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. They may also call 800-621-3362. The TTY number is 800-462-7585. People who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.