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FEMA continues to Support Hurricane Maria Survivors through extension of Transitional Sheltering Assistance program

Release date: 
April 20, 2018
Release Number: 

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico – Today FEMA approved Gov. Rossello’s request to extend the
Transitional Sheltering Assistance program for approximately 1,700 survivors whose benefits
were scheduled to end. Partnership in recovery is critical to success and Puerto Rico must lead
the way in establishing and executing their recovery goals. FEMA looks forward to this
continued partnership and supporting the government of Puerto Rico and Maria survivors.

On Feb. 28, the governor asked for, and received, an extension of the TSA program with
additional eligibility requirements through May 14, with a mid-term eligibility review on April
20 based upon Puerto Rico’s requested criteria.

On Wednesday, the governor requested that FEMA grant a new blanket extension of the
program, and today, FEMA received an additional letter clarifying the governor’s extension

Based on Puerto Rico’s previously established eligibility criteria, approximately 1,700 of the
2,800 survivors checked into participating-TSA hotel rooms would no longer be eligible to
continue in the program. Those survivors began receiving their ineligibility notifications

Of the 1,700 families, FEMA’s case reviews have shown that hundreds either have no home
damage from Hurricane Maria, have voluntarily withdrawn their applications for federal
assistance. However, with this extension, those families will be allowed to continue participating
in the program while FEMA performs additional case reviews of their eligibility.

Survivors wanting to appeal any TSA eligibility criteria should contact FEMA at 1-800-621-
FEMA (3362) with supporting documentation to contest ineligibility.

FEMA mission assigned the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the
Administration for Children and Families to conduct immediate disaster case management, and
those case managers are working with survivors in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida and
Illinois at the request of those state officials.

Survivors with unmet needs should be referred to Immediate Disaster Case Management at or by calling 855-742-5993. Case managers will be
able to provide survivors with a single point of contact to facilitate access to a broad range of

The TSA program is one of several short-term sheltering options being offered, providing shortterm
lodging assistance for eligible disaster survivors. The program allows survivors who are
unable to return to their damaged home to shelter in a hotel or motel, serving as a bridge to other
longer-term housing solutions.

Since the program became available to Puerto Rico survivors, more than 10,000 families have
participated in 40 different states at a cost of more than $64 million.

Additionally, staff in FEMA Regions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, where the most Puerto Rico survivors are
located, have gone above and beyond the normal processes to assist survivors. Staff in those
regional offices continue providing assistance and operational coordination to state and local
emergency managers who are helping assist survivors who have relocated to their areas. This
support has included staffing multiagency resource centers and assisting with additional
casework review to ensure survivors are receiving all the assistance available.

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-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS - Video Relay Service). Multilingual
operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.

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Last Updated: 
April 20, 2018 - 13:21