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Fact Sheet: Financial Disaster Aid Available for U.S. Citizens, Non-Citizen Nationals and Qualified Aliens

Release date: 
July 16, 2019
Release Number: 

Information for undocumented immigrants regarding FEMA assistance for Arkansas residents affected by flooding and severe storms between May 21 and June 14


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is committed to helping all eligible disaster survivors recover from the recent Arkansas flooding and severe storms, including U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals and qualified aliens.


Understand What’s Required to Register for FEMA Assistance

To register for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, you must be a U.S. citizen, non- citizen national or a qualified alien to qualify for a monetary disaster assistance. However, undocumented families with diverse immigration status only need one family member (including minor children) who is a citizen and has a social security number to apply. FEMA can provide information about obtaining a social security number for a minor child. The minor child must live with the parent/guardian applying on his/her behalf.


Disaster survivors will be asked to sign the Declaration and Release Form stating that you are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or a qualified alien. If you cannot sign the Declaration and Release Form but you have a minor child who is a U.S. citizen or a qualified alien residing with you, you can apply for assistance on your child's behalf and no information regarding your status will be gathered. You will be asked to sign a declaration that your child is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.


The status of a qualified alien includes:

  • Legal permanent residents (those with Green Cards)
  • Those with refugee or asylum status
  • Those whose deportation has been withheld
  • Those on parole into the U.S. for at least one year for humanitarian purposes
  • Those with conditional entry
  • Those who are Cuban-Haitian entrants
  • Those with petitions for relief based on battery or extreme cruelty by a family member


Additional Assistance May Be Available Regardless of Citizenship Status

Other Individual Assistance programs such as Crisis Counseling, Disaster Legal Services and other short-term, non-cash emergency assistance, such as congregate shelters, are available to an individual and family regardless of citizenship status. Additionally, voluntary agencies provide help regardless of citizenship/immigration status.


All individuals, regardless of citizenship status, affected by a major disaster may be eligible for other non-monetary, in-kind emergency disaster relief programs. These include medical care, shelter, food and water. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for FEMA cash assistance or Disaster Unemployment Assistance.

People who don’t qualify for monetary assistance may still call the FEMA registration line for referrals to voluntary agencies. Undocumented immigrants from households in which no one is eligible for cash assistance from FEMA may still be eligible for programs run by state, local or voluntary agencies. Survivors who have unmet needs not met by FEMA can also seek help in person at Arkansas/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.


Assistance for eligible individuals and small businesses includes funds for temporary housing and necessary home repairs, individual and household grants, disaster unemployment assistance, low- interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration and other programs.


All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual orientation), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY/TDD).


Last Updated: 
July 16, 2019 - 17:50