Applying for Assistance
Ways to Register:
- Online: www.DisasterAssistance.gov
- In Person: Visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). Download the FEMA App to find the nearest location.
- Phone: If you are unable to access the internet, you can also call 1-800-621-3362 (711/Video Relay Service), TTY 1-800-462-7585.
Information You Will Need:
- Social Security number
- Address of the damaged home or apartment
- Description of the damage
- Information about insurance coverage
- A current contact telephone number
- An address where you can receive mail
- Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds
What to Expect After You Apply
Once homeowners register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a FEMA housing inspector will call to schedule an inspection for those living in designated counties. Here’s what survivors need to know about the inspection process:
A graphic describing what happens after you register for disaster assistance with FEMA. Download Original
Everyone should know:
- The FEMA inspector will show a photo ID badge.
- If you are not shown photo identification, then do not allow the inspection.
- If you suspect someone is posing as a FEMA inspector, call your local law enforcement agency.
- You may receive visits from more than one inspector. Other inspectors may represent federal, state, parish and local government agencies, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the National Flood Insurance Program and/or insurance companies.
- Representatives of volunteer agencies may contact you to offer their services.
Before the FEMA inspection, it’s important that you know:
- An adult 18 or older who lived in the residence before the disaster must be present for the inspection.
- That person must have the following documents:
- Photo identification;
- Proof of ownership and occupancy of the damaged residence such as: property tax bill; mortgage payment bill or receipt, or utility service bill;
- Homeowner and vehicle insurance documents;
- List of persons living in residence at time of disaster that you compiled; and
- List of disaster damage to the home and its contents that you compiled.
How to Appeal a FEMA Decision
Applicants have a right to appeal any FEMA decision.
Some survivors who registered for federal disaster assistance may have received a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that says they are ineligible. The reason for the decision may be something that can be easily fixed, such as providing insurance documents or new contact information.
This graphic explains the appeals process for individuals who've applied for disaster assistance. The text reads as follows: Download Original
When survivors apply for individual disaster assistance through FEMA, their needs are assessed based on a number of factors, including eligibility requirements laid out under federal law. Sometimes people do not qualify for financial help right away. Some of the reasons for an initial turn down can be:
- You might not have gotten your insurance settlement;
- You may not have given FEMA all the information we need;
- You haven’t given us proof of ownership or residence;
- You may not have returned the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan application;
- You may not have provided records that showed the damaged property was the primary residence at the time of the disaster;
- You may not have signed essential documents.
Read your letter carefully. FEMA may only need you to provide additional information. Your appeal should include new or missing information, documents and damage repair estimates that support the appeal request. If it isn’t clear, or more information is needed, a specialist at the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711, video relay service) can help. TTY users can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Appeals must be made in writing and sent by mail or fax to FEMA within 60 days of receiving the letter. It is important to date the appeal letter and mail it to the following address:
FEMA National Processing Service Center
P. O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
Appeals may also be faxed to: 1-800-827-8112, Attention: FEMA. You can also call the helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 or visit a Disaster Recovery Center, where you can talk with someone about your particular case.
Everyone should read their letters carefully, ask questions, ask for help, and tell us if you think we got it wrong. We are here to serve you – the disaster survivor – and it is your right to ask us to reconsider our decision.
Types of Assistance
If you have questions about types of assistance available to you, the best way to get answers is to contact a FEMA representative who can walk you through your options. Call 800-621-3362 (711 or Video Relay Service). If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585. You can also visit a Disaster Recovery Center to speak with a representative in person.