This page explains what happens after your damaged dwelling has been inspected by a FEMA inspector. The FEMA inspector records disaster related damages to the home and if those damages cause the home to be unsafe or uninhabitable. The inspector does not make any decisions on your assistance. The record of the inspection is transmitted to FEMA and eligibility decisions are made for disaster assistance. There are multiple categories of assistance available from FEMA.
If You Qualify for a Grant
FEMA will provide you:
- a check by mail or direct deposit directly into your checking or savings account
- a letter describing how you are to use the money
You should use the money given to you as explained in the letter for your disaster recovery. As there are multiple categories of assistance you may qualify for one or more categories. You should keep records and receipts for at least 3 years showing how you used the funds for disaster recovery.
If You Do Not Qualify for a Grant
FEMA will provide you:
- a letter explaining why you did not qualify
- an opportunity to appeal the decision
You will be informed of your appeal rights in the letter from FEMA. You must request an appeal in writing, signed and mailed within 60 days of FEMA’s decision.
If you have insurance for the recorded cause of damage
If you have insurance and were denied or the settlement did not cover all of your disaster related losses you may be eligible for assistance. To detemine your eligibility you must provide your final insurance settlement or denial to FEMA. The date of loss on your insurance document must be within the incident period for the declared disaster. Additionally, you should also notify FEMA if your insurance settlement is delayed.
If You Were Referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA)
You will receive a SBA application.
- You must complete and return the application to be considered for a loan as well as certain types of FEMA grant assistance.
SBA representatives are available to help you with the application at local Disaster Recovery Centers.
If the SBA approves you for a loan, they will contact you.
If the SBA finds that you cannot afford a loan, they will automatically refer you to FEMA’s Individual and Household program. Your file will be reviewed to determine if you qualify for additional assistance.