LITTLE ROCK – FEMA reminds Arkansas residents, who receive federal disaster assistance for the severe storms and tornadoes that occurred March 31, to use the money for its intended purpose and to keep all receipts.
Disaster assistance is intended to help survivors pay for basic expenses caused by the disaster. A letter explaining what the payment is to be used for arrives within a day or two of the check or direct deposit payment.
Approved uses for grants include:
- Repairs to make a home livable;
- Rental assistance to temporarily pay for a place to stay;
- Repair or replacement of a disaster-damaged essential vehicle;
- Medical care for an injury caused by the disaster;
- Replacing clothing, occupational tools and educational materials; and
- Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster.
Disaster grants should not be used for travel, entertainment, regular living expenses or any discretionary expenses not related to the disaster. 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 the money was used to meet disaster-related expenses. If you receive an insurance settlement to cover the same expenses, you must reimburse FEMA. Audits are conducted to confirm funds were spent properly.
Survivors in Cross, Lonoke and Pulaski counties can apply at DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362, or by using the FEMA mobile app. The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.