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FEMA Grants Are for Disaster Related Expenses Only; Spend Wisely and Well

Release date: 
December 3, 2017
Release Number: 
DR-4339-PR NR 064

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Federal grant money must be used for disaster related expenses. FEMA advises all applicants to read their determination letter carefully. It explains ways in which the grant money should be used. Recipients are encouraged to keep receipts from all purchases to show how funds were spent.

Approved uses for disaster grants include:

  • Home repairs (e.g., structure, water, septic and sewage systems);
  • Rental assistance for a different place to live temporarily;
  • Medical care for an injury caused by the disaster;
  • Repair, cleaning or replacement of clothing, specialized tools;
  • Necessary educational materials (e.g., computers, school books, supplies);
  • Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster.

Additional assistance grants may be available for Hurricane Maria survivor’s personal property loss, vehicle repair or replacement, moving and storage expenses, child care, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses.

Survivors may need to apply for a low-interest disaster assistance loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. You are under no obligation to accept a loan if one is offered, but you must complete an application to be eligible for additional assistance from FEMA. For more information about SBA disaster recovery assistance, visit


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.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS - Video Relay Service.) Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800 -462-7585

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters, which can cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Join the conversation with FEMA on social media. Follow us at: .  Get updated information and help us tell your story. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications. Get Hurricane Maria recovery information sent to your phone: text MARIA to 43362.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:58