Below are a few of the most common FAQs, please understand this is not an exhaustive list, check out the full list.
Other forms of Aid
Q: Where can I find other forms of assistance to help my recovery?
Visit houstontx.gov/311 to find help in your area that may be able to assit you.
Q: What is Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA)?
Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) is for eligible disaster survivors who are unable to return to their homes for an extended period of time and who have a continuing need for short-term lodging whose residence is uninhabitable or inaccessible due to a declared disaster.
To be eligible for TSA individuals and households must:
- They register with FEMA for assistance.
- Pass identity and citizenship verification.
- Have a pre-disaster primary residence located in a geographic area that is designated for TSA.
- Be displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence as a result of the disaster.
- Be unable to obtain lodging through another source.
For those who are eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund TSA through direct payments to participating hotels/motels.
Q: For survivors who have registered, what aid is available?
- Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA)
- 2 Months of Expedited Rental Assistance
- National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Advance Payments
- Critical Needs Assistance
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance
- Immediate Foreclosure Relief from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
For more information check out Sheltering and Immediate Assistance.
After you Apply
Q: I was approved for FEMA assistance. What can I use the money for?
The money can be used for a temporary place to stay, making repairs to make your home safe, sanitary and functional, and replacing or fixing essential household items like appliances and clothes. Visit our page on disaster assistance available from FEMA for more information.
Q: How do I discuss my temporary housing options further?
Please visit your closest recovery center by using the Disaster Recovery Center locator to find a location where you can speak with someone face-to-face.
Q: I applied with FEMA and was given a letter saying I’m ineligible or that my application was incomplete. Does this mean I’m not going to get any help?
Do not be alarmed or discouraged. It may simply mean that FEMA does not have all the information needed to make a decision regarding your application for disaster assistance. It’s important to call 800-621-3362 or visit a recovery center to discuss this with us face-to-face. Find your closest South Carolina recovery center by using our Disaster Recovery Center Locator.
Q: Can I appeal my determination letter?
Every applicant has the right to appeal.
Q: What are some reasons why I could have received this letter?
Maybe you didn’t return information about your insurance policy, provide information to prove occupancy or ownership of the damaged property, fill out all necessary paperwork, or complete and return the U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan application. You are not obligated to accept an SBA loan offer.
Q: I have insurance. How do I get that information to FEMA so you can proceed with my application?
Contact your insurance company and ask for a settlement letter detailing exactly what is covered under their claim. They should mail your insurance settlement information to:
FEMA – Individuals and Households Program
National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055
Q: How long do I have to submit insurance information?
You have up to 12 months from the date you registered with FEMA to submit insurance information for review. FEMA cannot provide money to individuals or households for losses already covered by insurance.
SBA Loan Information
Why was I referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration after registering with FEMA?
The SBA isn’t just for businesses. It’s for homeowners and renters too. The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for disaster-damaged private property, offering low-interest disaster assistance loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.
Why must I complete and return a loan application?
Completing and submitting an SBA loan application may make you eligible for certain FEMA grants if you don’t qualify for a loan. Homeowners and renters who are not offered an SBA loan may be considered for FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program to cover some uninsured losses, such as essential household and clean up items and clothing.
Am I obligated to accept a loan offer?
Can I still apply if I’m waiting on my insurance settlement?
Submit an SBA loan application even if you are waiting for an insurance settlement. You may be able to begin your recovery immediately with a low-interest SBA disaster loan. The loan balance will be reduced by the settlement from your insurance. SBA loans may also be available for losses not covered by insurance or other recoveries.
How much I can borrow?
Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.
How can I learn more about low-interest SBA disaster loans?
You may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339, emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visiting SBA’s website at sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.