FEMA Offers Equitable Access to All Disaster Survivors

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DENVER – FEMA and the State of Colorado are committed to providing disaster assistance to people with disabilities, access and functional needs, as well as those who communicate in languages other than English.

FEMA offers reasonable accommodations to people such as older adults, individuals who communicate in languages other than English, those who rely on public transportation, or who are experiencing financial difficulties. When filling out an application for assistance with FEMA, individuals with these needs should answer “yes” to question 24, which asks about functional needs. This will allow FEMA to assist applicants in a way that meets their needs.

How to Apply for Disaster Assistance

There are several ways to apply for FEMA disaster assistance or check on your application. If you need an accommodation or assistance due to a disability, ask FEMA at the time of applying or anytime throughout the assistance process.

  • Apply in-person at the Disaster Recovery Center, located at 1755 S. Public Road, Lafayette, Colorado 80026. Current operating hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Apply by calling 800-621-3362. If you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service. Qualified multilingual interpreters can assist applicants via this number.
  • Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Apply using the FEMA mobile app for smartphones.

For an accessible video on how to apply for FEMA assistance, go to youtube.com/watch?v=WZGpWI2RCNw.

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted.
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying.
  • Your Social Security Number (or if you don’t have one, the Social Security Number of a U.S. minor (child) living with you at the time of the disaster)
  • A general list of damage and losses.
  • Banking information if you choose direct deposit.
  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name.

Reasonable Accommodations and Language Support

FEMA can provide interpreters, real-time captioning, and information in alternate formats such as large- print, audio, and electronic versions. The agency also provides free services to help survivors communicate with its staff and understand FEMA programs, including:

  • Information available in accessible electronic formats on FEMA’s website and social media
  • Qualified American Sign Language interpreters
  • Qualified multilingual interpreters
  • Information written in multiple languages
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