Louisiana (DR-4611) Frequently Asked Questions and Rumor Control

We continue to work with federal, state, local, tribal and community partners to support the ongoing response for Ida. As clean up efforts begin, this page offers answers to frequently asked questions and rumors about Louisiana (DR-4611).

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Frequently Asked Questions and Rumors

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FEMA may be able to provide reimbursement for out-of-pocket lodging expenses that are not covered by insurance benefits such as additional living expenses or loss of use. The survivor’s pre-disaster primary residence must be unlivable, inaccessible or affected by an extended disaster-caused utility outage to be considered.

By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits of insurance. Insurance policies may include Additional Living Expenses or Loss of Use coverage, which is a benefit that provides supplemental money to cover increased costs, including temporary housing, when you are unable to live in your home due to a loss covered by insurance.

Lodging Expense Reimbursement (LER) from FEMA may only be considered if an applicant has not received lodging assistance from any other source (e.g., voluntary organization) for the same dates the applicant is requesting LER.

Let the inspector know you did not apply for assistance. If the inspector has left, call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 to tell them that you did not apply. FEMA will stop all further processing for the application. If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

Operators can also assist you if you wish to create a new application to apply for FEMA assistance.

A fraudulent FEMA application could be a sign of identity theft. For information on responding to identity theft, visit Identity Theft | FTC Consumer Information and IdentityTheft.gov.

Do not contact the FEMA Fraud Investigations and Inspections Division, DHS Office of Inspector General, or the National Center for Disaster Fraud for the purpose of reporting identity theft.

The amount provided for temporary rental assistance covers the monthly rent including essential utilities. It doesn’t include phone, cable, TV or internet service. Money for utilities is not provided separately from the rent amount but is included in the total award.

Louisiana renters who face eviction or have been evicted due to Hurricane Ida may be eligible for disaster assistance from FEMA. 

FEMA is also partnering with the Louisiana State Bar Association and the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division to provide free legal aid to low-income individuals with disaster legal needs, such as help addressing evictions. Call the toll-free legal aid hotline at (800) 310-7029, or you can get legal advice online through Louisiana Free Legal Answers. 

Fact:

After you apply for disaster assistance from FEMA, you may be contacted by the SBA. If you are asked to submit an application for a low-interest SBA loan, you are encouraged to do so. Applying with the SBA assures that all available disaster assistance options remain open to you. 

Fact:

Submitting the application makes it possible for you to be considered for additional grants. If you apply for an SBA low-interest disaster loan and are not eligible, this may open the door to additional assistance from FEMA. If SBA denies the loan application, you may be eligible for additional FEMA grant assistance to replace essential household items; replace or repair a damaged vehicle; cover storage expenses or meet other disaster-related needs.

Fact:

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

Fact:

If SBA determines you are eligible for a loan, you do not have to accept it. However, if you do qualify for an SBA loan and you choose not to accept it, additional resources may not be available to you for disaster recovery.

Fact:

SBA offers loans for homeowners up to $200,000 to repair or replace your primary residence. The loans are customized to your personal financial circumstances. On a case-by-case basis, the SBA may be able to assist with the refinance of your current mortgage(s).

SBA can help renters and homeowners replace household contents (e.g., clothing, furniture and appliances) and vehicles, referred to as personal property.  Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Last updated October 13, 2021