FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky residents who applied for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a result of the Feb. 29 - March 3 tornadoes have received or will receive letters about the progress of their application, what to do next or how they should spend grant money.
When an applicant for disaster assistance receives a letter from FEMA it is very important the letter be read carefully.
If applicants have questions about a letter they receive from FEMA, they should call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 or key into m.fema.gov with a smartphone or tablet. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service should call 800-621-3362 (TTY at 800-462-7585).
Applicants should not be discouraged if they receive a letter indicating they are ineligible. FEMA may simply need additional information or documentation.
Federal law prevents FEMA from duplicating assistance from insurance benefits or other government sources but FEMA’s initial determination of ineligibility may change if private insurance or other government assistance is not sufficient to cover all eligible damage.
FEMA looks at a number of factors to determine an applicant’s eligibility for disaster assistance. The agency must be able to verify:
- An applicant's identity. If the applicant lost an ID during the storm, disaster recovery staff can make referrals regarding replacement documents.
- Damages. If the applicant believes the inspector didn’t see all of their damages, they can call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362.
- Home occupancy. Applicants need to provide proof of occupancy, such as a utility bill. They can bring the bill, or other documents that prove occupancy to a disaster recovery center, where recovery specialists will help them.
If survivors receive an SBA loan application as part of their registration package it is very important to fill out the application and return it. Completion of the SBA application does not mean the applicant is required to take out an SBA loan. Information in the application is used to determine possible qualification for further FEMA disaster assistance.
The SBA application must be completed and returned by May 7.
Survivors may also receive a determination letter from FEMA about their eligibility if they missed an appointment with an inspector.
It is crucial an applicant stay in touch with FEMA and update contact information by calling the FEMA helpline.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.