PURVIS, Miss. – Federal disaster assistance may cover damages that your insurance does not. That is why people affected by the recent tornadoes and flooding are urged by FEMA and MEMA to apply for assistance even if they have insurance.
Apply by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by tablet or smartphone at m.fema.gov. Register by phone at 800-621-3362. The TTY number is 800-462-7585; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362. C-Spire wireless customers can dial #362.
Keep in mind that you need to file your insurance claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. Failure to file a timely claim may endanger your eligibility for disaster assistance.
After filing a claim, FEMA may be able to provide some assistance if your insurance settlement is delayed for any reason. “Delayed” means a decision on your insurance settlement taking longer than 30 days from the time you filed the claim.
If a decision on your insurance settlement has been put off, you need to mail or fax a letter to FEMA explaining the circumstances to: FEMA IHP, National Processing Service Center, PO Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055. The fax number is 1-800-827-8112
You should include documentation from the insurance company proving that you filed the claim. If you filed your claim by telephone, you should include the claim number, the name of your insurance company or agent, the date you applied and an estimate of how long it will take to receive your settlement.
If you actually receive FEMA assistance and later find that your insurance will cover what your FEMA grant was for, then you must return that money to FEMA because it is considered a duplicate benefit. Find out how to do so by calling 800-621-3362.
If you have received the maximum settlement from your insurance for Additional Living Expenses and still need help with your disaster-related temporary housing, mail or fax a letter to FEMA at the above address saying why you continue to have a temporary-housing need. You will have to provide documentation to prove you have exhausted your ALE from insurance and that you have a permanent-housing plan.
You have up to 12 months from the date of registration with FEMA to submit your insurance information for review.
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.
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.