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Remember to Use FEMA Funds Wisely

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Release Date:
March 21, 2024

San Diego, Calif. — Disaster assistance is intended to help residents pay for necessities lost due to the Jan. 21-23, 2024, San Diego County severe storm and flooding. Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and if a survivor’s application is approved as eligible, they may receive a payment. A letter explaining what the payment is to be used for arrives along with the payment.

As eligible disaster survivors start to receive funds for rental assistance, home repairs, or other categories of assistance, be assured federal disaster assistance funds are tax-free. FEMA’s notification letter will inform survivors of the appropriate use of disaster assistance funds. Survivors are expected to use assistance funds only for their intended purpose. Not doing so can compromise future assistance eligibility.

FEMA will send survivors a notification letter informing them of the types of assistance they are eligible to receive, and the amounts of assistance FEMA is providing for each eligible need. These may include:

  • Repairs to make a home safe, sanitary, and fit to live in.
  • Rental assistance to temporarily pay for a place to stay.
  • Repair or replacement of a disaster-damaged essential vehicle.
  • Medical care for an injury caused by the disaster.
  • Replacing clothing, occupational tools and educational materials.
  • Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster.
  • Replacing medical equipment.

Federal law prohibits FEMA from duplicating assistance that is available from other sources such as insurance.

If money is not used as described above, survivors may be asked to repay FEMA and may become ineligible for further federal assistance that could become available.

FEMA funds are not to be used for travel, entertainment, or any expenses not related to the disaster. Survivors should keep receipts for three years to show how they spent FEMA grants and document how disaster funds were used.

For the latest FEMA information on the Jan. 21-23, 2024, San Diego County severe storms and flooding, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4758.

 

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FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, or economic status.

If you believe your civil rights are being violated, you can call the Civil Rights Resource line at 833-285-7448 (TTY 800-462-7585). Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service. Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).

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