BATON ROUGE, La.— If you have not yet received a payment or followed up on your determination letter from FEMA, you can do something to move the process along: call us, visit us online or use the FEMA app – just don’t wait. FEMA may be able to help!
First, read your FEMA determination letter carefully. It tells you FEMA’s original decision and tells you what actions might be needed to change that decision.
One obstacle may be your homeowner or renters’ insurance documentation. After Hurricane Ida, insurance settlements have taken longer than usual to process. FEMA cannot complete your application until a copy of the insurance settlement is in your file. Once you receive the information from your agent, be sure to give a copy to FEMA.
Another problem may be documents that you are having trouble finding. If you are having a problem proving where you lived when the hurricane struck or proving you owned the damaged property, let FEMA know. We have specialists who can advise where to get the paperwork you need. Many forms of proof are accepted that you may not have even thought of.
If you are claiming assistance for non-housing aid FEMA gives under its Other Needs Assistance (ONA) Program for things such as funeral assistance, medical and dental assistance, childcare assistance, moving and storage assistance, you simply need to provide receipts for these items.
For loss of personal property, transportation (your car, motorcycle, etc.) or funding for group flood insurance, there is an additional step having to do with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). If FEMA does not refer you to the SBA program for a low-interest disaster loan or you fill out the paperwork for a loan but are denied, then you may qualify for these types of additional Other Needs assistance and you will again need to provide receipts. If you qualify for an SBA loan, but choose not to accept one, ONA may not be available.
If you want to know your options or have questions about your application, FEMA staff are available to assist – you can call the FEMA Helpline (800-621-3362) or visit one of the open disaster recovery centers in Louisiana to speak face-to-face with a FEMA representative. Find your nearest center by visiting www.fema.gov/DRC.
You can reach FEMA in several ways:
- Going online at DisasterAssistance.gov;
- Calling the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available; or
- Downloading the FEMA app.