Millions of people have been affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma thus far and the number continues to increase. As survivors begin recovering and creating plans to remedy the vast destruction throughout Texas, Florida and surrounding areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal and state organizations are offering help.
How to apply for Disaster Assistance
If you have been affected by these natural disasters, you may qualify for federal assistance. The registration process only takes 20 minutes, but does have an expiration date of November 30, 2017.
You may apply for both home and business disaster assistance; simply complete one registration to cover both. However if you are applying for numerous disasters, you will need to complete a separate registration for each disaster.
- To apply, please visit DisasterAssistance.gov
- To complete the registration, please have the following items ready:
- Social Security Number (SSN) of the primary applicant or the SSN of a minor child in the household who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National or Qualified Alien
- Your family’s total gross household income at the time of the disaster
- The address and phone number of the damaged dwelling
- Current mailing address and phone numbers where you can be contacted
- Identify the types of insurance coverage you have in place
- A pen and paper to record your Registration ID number
- Banking information (Institution name, type of account and routing and account number) if you would prefer funds be transferred directly to your bank account
- You can check your application status by clicking “Check Status” on the DisasterAssistance.gov page or by clicking here.
You can also take advantage of more information and guidance by visiting FEMA.gov or calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362). FEMA helpline services are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Call FEMA’s Internet Help Desk at 1-800-745-0243 as they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Unemployment for those affected by Hurricane Harvey
In addition, if you lost your job or are self-employed and have been unable to work due to Hurricane Harvey, you can apply for unemployment benefits through the Texas Workforce Commission. Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits are available to those whose jobs were affected and who live or work in the counties included in the major disaster declaration. This program may include self-employed persons and farm-workers, as well as other people who are not normally eligible for unemployment.
- To apply, please visit the Texas Workforce Commission’s site here.
- To complete your application, please have the following items ready:
- Your last employer’s business name and address
- The first and last dates you worked for your last employer
- Number of hours worked and pay rate if you worked this week (including Sunday)
- Information related to your normal wage
- Alien Registration Number (if not U.S. citizen or national)
- Once you have an unemployment benefits claim, you can sign up for Electronic Correspondencefor online access to your unemployment benefits correspondence.
Other resources for those in Harvey-impacted Areas
- Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA)is for survivors who are in need of shelter because they are enable to return to their homes. You can visit FEMA’s Evacuee Hotel List to see if you are eligible for Transitional Sheltering Assistance at www.femaevachotels.com.
- Critical Needs Assistance (CNA) is intended for individuals and households who have immediate or critical needs as a result of the hurricane and are currently displaced from their primary home. CNA is a one-time, limited payment that is available per household.
- Loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA)may also be available to help repair flood-related damage to your home or business and replace personal property. The SBA provides low-interest disaster loans of up to $200,000 to repair a primary residence, up to $40,000 for homeowners and renters to replace personal property and up to $2 million to businesses and most private non-profits for physical damage and economic injury needs as a result of the disaster. Survivors need to register with FEMA first to determine their eligibility for any federal assistance that may be available.
- Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Agency (FHA)all are also offering relief to affected homeowners, including moratoriums on foreclosure proceedings.
If you would like to help the hurricane victims, please join us in supporting the efforts of the American Red Cross in providing much-needed relief to Houston and Florida. Progress Residential® will match your donations one-for-one to a maximum of $100,000. Please consider making a contribution today.
Please visit RentProgress.com for more information.