Federal Assistance Available for Families Impacted by Floods

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is operating in Broward County to help homeowners affected by April’s severe flooding. Homeowners and renters who were impacted by the April 12-14 severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding are now eligible to apply for FEMA disaster assistance.

FEMA Individual Assistance helps disaster survivors begin recovery by providing financial assistance for basic and critical needs. The agency wants every individual and family affected by the April 12 – 14 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding to have a safe, accessible and functional place to stay. FEMA is not a substitute for insurance. Nor can it duplicate other sources of assistance.

What assistance does FEMA provide?

Lodging Expense Reimbursement for hotel expenses; this is for eligible uninsured or underinsured applicants who could not return to their home due to disaster-related damage. Keep copies of receipts.

Home Repair/Replacement Assistance for disaster losses not already covered by another source.

Rental Assistance for alternative housing if you can no longer occupy your primary residence due to disaster-related damage.

Personal Property Assistance to repair or replace essential, uninsured personal property damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

Transportation Assistance for primary vehicles damaged by the disaster.

Medical and Dental Assistance for uninsured medical and dental needs or losses caused by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

Funeral Assistance related to a death attributed directly or indirectly as a result of the disaster.

What can lead to an “ineligible” determination?

Many times, an application is determined to be “ineligible” because of a missing document. You may need to submit additional information to expedite or restart the application review process. Examples include:

Proof of insurance coverage (Declaration Page)

Copy of your insurance settlement pertaining to damage caused by the disaster.

Proof of identity (U.S. passport, military I.D., motor vehicle registration, Social Security card along with a federal or state I.D., a payroll stub that shows all or part of your Social Security number.)

Proof of occupancy (lease or rental agreement, rent receipts, utility bills, motor vehicle registration, etc.) FEMA has provided more ways to meet this requirement.

Proof of ownership (deed or title, mortgage documentation, homeowner’s insurance policy, property tax bill or receipt, manufactured home certificate or title and home purchase contracts.) FEMA has provided more ways to meet this requirement.

Proof the damaged property was your primary residence when the disaster occurred.

If you have questions about FEMA’s determination letter, you may go online to DisasterAssistance.gov. or call the Disaster Assistance Helpline at 800-621-3362, seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

What does a FEMA inspector look for?

FEMA may require an inspection to determine whether a home is safe, accessible and functional. FEMA considers the following factors when determining if an applicant is eligible for assistance:

Is the exterior of the home structurally sound, including the doors, roof and windows?

Does the electricity, gas, heat, plumbing, sewer and septic systems function properly?

Is the inside of the house habitable and structurally sound, including the ceiling and floors?

Is the home capable of being used for its intended purpose?

Is there a safe access to and from the home?

In many cases, disaster-related damage may exist, yet the residents can still safely live in their home.

Small Businesses Assistance 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans to individuals and households to help with disaster losses. FEMA works with the SBA to determine if you may qualify for Personal Property Assistance, Transportation Assistance, or a Group Flood Insurance Policy.

FEMA will automatically refer business owners to the SBA to be considered for a disaster loan if you meet SBA’s income standards. FEMA uses your household annual gross income and number of dependents to determine if you should be referred to the SBA.

If you have been impacted by the flooding, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4709 to learn more about federal assistance programs or apply for relief.