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Use FEMA Grants for Intended Purpose

Release date: 
May 27, 2020
Release Number: 
FEMA-4541-DR-TN NR 013

NASHVILLE – FEMA reminds Tennesseans who have received federal disaster assistance to use the money for its intended purpose and to keep receipts for three years.

Disaster assistance is intended to help residents meet basic disaster-related needs. A letter explaining what the payment is to be used for arrives within a day or two of the check or direct deposit payment.

If applicants spend the payment on anything other than the purpose for which it is intended, they may be denied future disaster assistance. In some cases, FEMA may ask that the money be returned.

Those receiving assistance are urged to keep receipts for their disaster spending for three years to document that the money was used to meet disaster-related needs. If recipients receive an insurance settlement to cover the same expenses, they must reimburse FEMA. Audits are conducted to confirm funds were spent properly.

Survivors in Bradley and Hamilton counties can register with FEMA in the following ways:

  • Visit
  • Download the FEMA App
  • Call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.

The deadline to register for federal assistance is June 23, 2020.

For more information on Tennessee recovery, visit the FEMA disaster web page,  and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency website,


FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

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. For TTY call 800-462-7585.

Last Updated: 
May 27, 2020 - 14:01