It can be intimidating to fill out a government form to get help when you have been through so much. Knowing what you will be asked on the FEMA application and what information you need to have at hand can help you feel ready.
Preparing for the FEMA application
- The FEMA application asks many questions for which you will have the answers at the tip of your tongue. These are things like your name and home address and the names of people you live with.
- Some required information you will need to gather ahead of time, such as each family member’s Social Security number.
- If your home was damaged and you had to move to a friend’s home, a hotel or somewhere else, be sure you know the address where you are staying and what the phone number is.
- When asked for your “damaged phone number,” give the phone number you used at your home at the time of the hurricane even if the number is still working.
- FEMA asks you about damage to your house and to your personal property. Personal property is anything that isn’t land or part of the building, so it includes appliances, clothing, furniture and anything else that was yours.
- Pay special attention to Question 24. It asks if you or anyone in your household use any type of device to help you with your daily life, such as a wheelchair, walker, cane, hearing aid or communication device. It could also be a service animal, personal care attendant, CPAP, oxygen concentrators or any other similar medical devices or services that assist with disabilities or activities of daily living. If someone in your family uses any of these items, be sure to mark “yes” for this question.
- One question that can be misunderstood asks if you are willing to relocate. This question means do you feel you will need to relocate while repairs are made. You are not committing to move away to a new home.
- If you had to evacuate before you filled out your application, you probably said you did not know the amount of damage, so it was marked “unknown.” As soon as possible, update your level of damage to whatever you think it is – from very little to destroyed – so FEMA can continue to review your case.
- If you don’t understand something when applying online, you can click “Help for this page” on the top left side of the form for more helpful information.
Uploading receipts and other documents
Steps to upload documents online
- Step 1: Visit DisasterAssistance.gov
- Step 2: Select Check Status
- Step 3: Login or create your online account
- Step 4: Select the Correspondence tab
- Step 5: Select Upload Center
- Step 6: Follow the online instructions
Four things to include on all documents
- Last four digits of your Social Security number
- FEMA Application Number: XXX-XXXX-XX
- FEMA Disaster Number: DR-4611-LA
When the information is received, it is manually scanned into your file. This creates a work packet that starts the processing of your request. An assistance specialist will review all the facts in your file and make a determination. This process can take several weeks.
How to apply
- The fastest and easiest way to apply is by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov.
- If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Operators can assist in multiple languages.
For the latest information on Hurricane Ida visit fema.gov/disaster/4611. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6/.