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Use FEMA Money for Intended Purpose

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Release Date:
March 31, 2023

PEARL, Miss.FEMA reminds Mississippi residents who receive federal disaster assistance for the March tornadoes to use the money for its intended purpose and to keep receipts for three years.

Disaster assistance is intended to help survivors pay for basic expenses caused by the disaster. A letter explaining what the payment is to be used for arrives within a day or two of the check or direct deposit payment.

If applicants spend the payment on anything other than the purpose for which it is intended, they may be denied future disaster assistance. In some cases, FEMA may ask that the money be returned.

Those receiving assistance are urged to keep receipts for their disaster spending for three years to document the money was used to meet disaster-related expenses. If you receive an insurance settlement to cover the same expenses, you must reimburse FEMA. Audits are conducted to confirm funds were spent properly.

Survivors in Carroll, Humphreys, Montgomery, Monroe, Panola and Sharkey counties can apply at, by calling 800-621-3362, or by using the FEMA mobile app. The helpline is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time in multiple languages. If you use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

For an accessible video on how to apply for assistance go to,

For the latest information on recovery from Mississippi tornadoes, visit March 24 2023 Severe Weather Disaster Information - MEMA ( and 4697 | Follow FEMA Region 4 (@femaregion4) / Twitter and at