Washington, DC -- Disaster recovery officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency (DCEMA) have initiated the Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program as one more way to help district residents cover the costs of necessary expenses and serious disaster-related needs that are not covered by insurance or other programs.
According to District Coordinating Officer, DCEMA Director Peter LaPorte, after FEMA's housing program and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan process, IFG grants may be used to cover disaster-related expenses such as essential home repairs, replacement of personal property and transportation. Grants may also be used for items not normally covered under SBA disaster loan programs, such as disaster-related medical and dental bills.
"The amount of the grant depends on the unmet needs of the applicant," said Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. The program is administered by the District, which also pays 25% of the grant amounts. FEMA provides the remaining 75% of the costs for grant awards.
Recovery officials point out that individuals must begin the process by registering for disaster assistance through the toll-free registration number at 1-800-462-9029 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585). Applicants who receive a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) application in the mail are required to apply to the SBA for a low-interest disaster loan prior to receiving IFG assistance. If the SBA finds an applicant ineligible for a loan, or if the loan amount is insufficient, SBA automatically refers the applicant to the IFG program for consideration.
Applicants with questions are urged to call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-525-0321 to get answers about disaster recovery programs.. Persons who are hearing-or speech-impaired may call the TTY Helpline at 1-800-462-7585.