You Asked: I’m a renter, can I get assistance from FEMA?

Release Date:
May 8, 2023

Oklahoma renters in McClain and Pottawatomie counties designated for Individual Assistance who had damage, losses or are unable to live in their homes after the April 19-20 severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes, may be eligible for help from FEMA.

Question: I am a renter; can I apply for assistance with FEMA?

Answer: Yes, renters may apply for disaster assistance with FEMA. If you have renter’s insurance, you should first call your insurance provider to file a claim. If you are insured, you must provide information from your insurance which may include a declaration page, settlement or denial.

Question:  As a renter, what types of help could I be eligible for?

Answer: Awards may be available to pay rent at a different location while repairs are made to your home or until it is livable. Rental grants may be used for security deposits, rent and the cost of essential utilities, such as gas and water. The grants may not be used to pay for separate cable or internet bills.

You may also be eligible for assistance to repair or replace a damaged vehicle; or for medical or dental expenses for injuries or losses resulting from the storm.

Question: I am a student and rent my home while I am in school, can I apply for assistance with FEMA?

Answer: Yes, students may apply for disaster assistance with FEMA. FEMA Individual Assistance is available to renters, including students, as well as homeowners. Students living in dormitories may also receive FEMA assistance to replace or repair essential personal property such as school supplies, textbooks, furniture, appliances and clothing.

Question: Can I use my rental assistance grant to stay in a hotel/motel?

Answer: The funds can be used to stay in a temporary place to live, which includes a hotel/motel. The rental assistance grant is equivalent to the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the area the primary home is in and may be less than the cost of a hotel for an extended period of time.

Question: I have been staying in a hotel and paying for it myself; can I get reimbursed for the costs?

Answer:  You may be eligible for reimbursement for out-of-pocket lodging expenses if you are not covered by insurance benefits for lodging or receiving help with lodging from another source such as a voluntary organization. Eligible expenses may include the cost of the room and taxes charged by a hotel or other lodging provider.

Question: My personal property was damaged; is there financial help available for my losses?

Answer:  Renters may qualify for assistance for damages to essential personal property caused by the April 19-20 storms and other disaster-related expenses. These may include replacement or repair of necessary personal property, such as furniture, appliances, clothing, textbooks or school supplies, replacement or repair of tools and other job-related equipment.

Question: Does help from FEMA have to be paid back?

Answer: No. FEMA grants are not loans and do not have to be repaid. They are not taxable income and won’t affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Question: How do I apply for FEMA assistance?

Answer: Residents can apply online at, by calling 800-621-3362, or by using the FEMA mobile app. The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.

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