Frequently Asked Questions About Disasters

This page offers answers to frequently asked questions about Individual Assistance for disaster survivors.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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After a flood incident, you should report your loss immediately to your insurance agent or carrier. Be sure to ask them about advance payments. Need help finding your insurance agent or carrier? Call the NFIP at 877-336-2627.

To be eligible for Home Repair Assistance, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified non-citizen or be the parent or guardian of a qualified minor that is part of the household.
  • FEMA must be able to verify your identity.
  • Your insurance, or other forms of disaster assistance received, cannot meet your disaster-caused needs.
  • You must also be a homeowner whose primary residence was made unlivable by the disaster.
  • Your home must be in the declared disaster area.

Unfortunately, FEMA is not able to clean your property. You may call 2-1-1 for referral to local services. There may be agencies in your area that may provide clean-up services. Monitor your local newspaper, radio, and television. 

No. Applicants who receive government assistance of any kind should not be concerned that FEMA disaster assistance will affect their benefits. FEMA assistance is not taxable income. FEMA grants do not affect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or other federal welfare and entitlement programs.

FEMA may provide financial assistance to approved applicants for their uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs. FEMA does not cover insurance deductibles as a standalone, disaster-related cost. Applicants should submit any insurance proceeds or denials to FEMA so we can individually evaluate your eligibility if you have remaining unmet needs.

Applicants can upload their receipts online to their account. All documents should include the registration and disaster number. Download instructions on how to upload your documents. This information is available in multiple languages.

Survivors can also submit through standard mail at: P.O. Box 10055, Attn: FEMA Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055 

Or Fax 1-800-827-8112 (Cover sheet required)

There are several ways you can search for disaster assistance:

To check the status of your account visit:

You may upload, fax, or mail your signed appeal letter and documentation.

Instructions on how to send your appeal can be found on your decision letter. Appeals cannot be processed by phone.

Signs of emotional distress may include:

  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Frequent waves of fear, guilt, and anxiety
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Hypervigilant of weather and other potential disasters
  • Anger affecting relationships with family and friends
  • Nightmares or replaying the events of the disaster
  • Difficulty readjusting to home or work life
  • Difficulty talking about what happened or listening to others talk about it
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