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Individual and Households Program: Remote Inspections

Release date: 
April 23, 2020
Release Number: 
Fact Sheet

Due to the COVID-19 nationwide emergency declared by President Trump and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans; FEMA will conduct remote home inspections for disaster survivors until further notice.

What to Expect After Applying for FEMA Assistance
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  • FEMA is fully committed to a whole of America response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the health and safety of the American people. Social distancing and eliminating unnecessary contact are key to help slow the virus’ spread and keep our most high-risk populations safe.
  • Disaster damage inspections were suspended on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
  • A remote inspection will be the primary form of inspection for applicants who are still pending an inspection.
  • Applicants who self-reported during registration that they received minimal damage and can live in their homes will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection. Instead, they will receive a letter from FEMA explaining that they may call the FEMA Helpline to request an inspection if they find significant disaster-caused damage to their home after they applied.
  • Remote inspections have no impact on eligibility for the types of Other Needs Assistance available that do not require an inspection. This includes childcare, transportation, medical and dental, funeral expenses, moving and storage, and Group Flood Insurance Policy Assistance.

Remote Inspection Process
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  • Disaster survivors who applied to FEMA and reported that they may not or cannot live at home due to damage will be contacted by FEMA to schedule a remote inspection.
  • FEMA inspectors will call applicants by phone. Applicants will answer questions about the type and extent of damage sustained.
  • Reasonable accommodations, including translation and ASL interpreters via Video Relay Service, will be available to ensure effective communication with applicants with limited English proficiency, applicants with disabilities, and other individuals with access and functional needs.
  • Based on responses from the applicant and existing eligibility criteria, awards will be generated for Rental Assistance, Home Repair Assistance, Replacement Assistance, Other Needs Assistance (ONA) for Personal Property Assistance, and Assistance for Miscellaneous Items based on existing line items.
  • Home Repair Assistance will be provided based on type of residence and the applicant’s responses during the remote inspection to determine level of damage sustained.
  • This interim policy will help protect the health and safety of the American people while also ensuring that eligible disaster survivors receive assistance from FEMA.
     

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Last Updated: 
May 14, 2020 - 17:26