Disaster Aid Available for U.S. Citizens, Non-Citizen Nationals, Qualified Residents

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
August 1, 2019

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

Understand What’s Required to Register for FEMA Assistance

To register for FEMA’s Individual or Household Programs, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national and qualified resident to be eligible for 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. 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 they are among the qualified applicants. If an individual is not able to sign the Declaration and Release Form but have a minor child who is a U.S. citizen or a qualified resident residing within their household, they can still apply for assistance on the child’s behalf and no information regarding their status will be gathered.

The status of a qualified resident includes:

• Legal permanent residents (those with Green Cards)

• Those with refugee or asylum status

• Those whose deportation has been withheld

• Those on parole in 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 are available to an individual or 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.

Individuals 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 also still be eligible for programs run by the state, local or voluntary agencies.

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.

Last updated March 18, 2021