Austin, Texas – Displaced applicants who are unable to meet the inspector onsite may authorize FEMA to perform a third-party inspection. The third party has to be over the age of 18 in order to attend the inspection on the applicant’s behalf. This also applies to applicants who need help filling out disaster aid applications such as senior citizens, people with low literacy, or some sort of mental, physical, or sensory issues that may prevent the survivor from understanding what is needed.
A written consent is an agreement that allows FEMA to share applicant information with someone other than the applicant. The third party may have permission to represent or speak on behalf of the applicant.
- Be in writing. Oral permission is not acceptable; except when registration is at a disaster recovery center or on the FEMA Helpline when the applicant is present.
- Include Identity Verification: The third party must state his/her full name, current address, and date and place of birth.
- Be signed by the individual and notarized or have a copy of state-issued identification card or it may be submitted with a statement verifying the information is true under penalty of perjury.
- Include an individual identifier (examples: the application number, current mailing address, current phone number, etc.).
- State information to be disclosed.
- Designate, identify, or name the individual entity to which the disclosure is being consented (e.g., my sister Jane Doe who lives at…; John Smith, my insurance agent with XYZ Insurance Company, whose office is located at…).
- Be able to successfully answer all verifications if an applicant calls the Helpline and requests that the operator speak to a third party on their behalf.
Survivors can register for FEMA assistance through Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, online at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/, or may call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Survivors may also visit a disaster recovery center to apply for assistance (find a disaster recovery center at https://egateway.fema.gov/ESF6/DRCLocator).