Kimberly Willingham (202) 225-3035
September 14, 2008
President Bush declared a major disaster for the State of Texas, triggering the release of Federal funds to help communities and individuals recover from Hurricane Ike beginning September 7, 2008, and continuing. If you live in the following counties of the First Congressional District, you qualify for Individual Assistance through FEMA: Angelina, Nacogdoches, Sabine, and San Augustine.
I traveled around east Texas yesterday and was up all night Friday helping where assistance was needed, even cutting away trees in the road with a chain saw. I personally saw the damage to other counties and feel strongly that additional areas should have been included in the individual assistance disaster declaration. We will be working to make sure that these counties who should be on the declaration are added.
With Kindest Regards,
How to Apply for Individual Assistance from FEMA:
Registering with the Red Cross, Salvation Army and/or 2-1-1 is not the same as registering with FEMA!
Some Things to Remember When Registering:
- FEMA increased their capacity to take registrations over the phones, and they are daily working to increase the number of on-line registrations they are able to take.
- Keep in mind that you can register for assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so it may be important to call and go online at non-peak times (after 12:00 pm, and before 6:00 am).
- FEMA expects extremely high call volume the first few weeks following Hurricane Ike, and other ongoing disaster declarations other states. Some callers will experience long delays and drops in calls.
- While FEMA realizes that many people need to register, they are encouraging individuals to wait a few days if their home was not severely impacted. Additionally, residents that have homeowner’s and flood insurance are encouraged to first contact their insurance company prior to calling FEMA.
- FEMA encourages applicants who can to register online at www.fema.gov/assistance. However, please bear in mind that the online system may sometimes experiences delays due to the large number of registrants.
- Only one family member per household should register.
CHECKING THE STATUS OF YOUR APPLICATION:
You must have an email address to create your account access. Your e-mail address is the only way a PIN can be sent to you; the PIN is required to access your personal account. You may wish to consider creating an email address through one of the numerous public providers. The PIN will be created and sent to the e-mail address provided when you created your application access account. You should receive your PIN at the email address listed on your account creation within 24 hours. You will need to have the following information create the account: Title, First and last name, Address, Contact phone number, Email address, Date of birth, Mother's maiden name, Social Security Number (Note: To access your FEMA application, the name, address, and personal information must be the same as that used to register for disaster assistance.)
You will be able to see your:
For more information, and a list of frequently asked questions visit: http://www.fema.gov/assistance/dafaq.shtm
About Assistance to Individuals and Households:
Replacement: Money to replace a disaster-damaged home, under rare conditions, if this can be done with limited funds. FEMA may provide up to $28,800 for home replacement. If the home is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, the homeowner must comply with flood insurance purchase requirements and local flood codes and requirements.
Semi-Permanent or Permanent Housing Construction: Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. This type of assistance occurs only in very unusual situations, in locations specified by FEMA, where no other type of housing assistance is possible. Construction shall follow current minimal local building codes and standards where they exist, or minimal acceptable construction industry standards in the area. Construction will aim toward average quality, size, and capacity, taking into consideration the needs of the occupant. If the home is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, the homeowner must comply with flood insurance purchase requirements and local flood codes and requirements.
Other Needs Assistance
Conditions and Limitations of IHP Assistance
Supplemental Assistance: Disaster housing assistance is not intended to substitute for private recovery efforts, but to complement those efforts when needed. FEMA expects minor housing damage or the need for short-term shelter to be addressed by homeowners or tenants. Furthermore, the Disaster Housing Program is not a loss indemnification program and does not ensure that applicants are returned to their pre-disaster living conditions.
Household Composition: People living together in one residence before the disaster are expected to continue to live together after the disaster. Generally, assistance is provided to the pre-disaster household as a unit. If, however, the assistance provided to the household is not shared with you, or if the new residence is too small or causes you undue hardship, you may request assistance separate from your pre-disaster household.
Proper Use of Assistance: All financial assistance provided by FEMA should be used as specified in writing: to rent another place to live, to make the home repairs identified by FEMA, or to prevent eviction or foreclosure, or to replace or repair personal property. Failure to use the money as specified may make you ineligible for additional assistance. All money provided by FEMA is tax-free.
Documentation: It is your responsibility to provide all documentation necessary for FEMA to evaluate your eligibility. You may need to provide proof of occupancy, ownership, income loss, and/or information concerning your housing situation prior to the disaster. You should keep all receipts and records for any housing expenses incurred as a result of the disaster. This includes receipts for repair supplies, labor, and rent payments.
Duration of Assistance: Repair and Replacement Assistance is provided as a one-time payment. Temporary Housing Assistance (or a mobile home/travel trailer) is provided for an initial period of 1, 2, or 3 months. To be considered for additional assistance, you must demonstrate that you have spent any previous assistance from FEMA as instructed, and you must demonstrate your efforts to re-establish permanent housing. Additional assistance is generally provided for 1, 2, or 3 months at a time. The maximum period for IHP assistance is 18 months, unless extended by the President.
Appeal Rights: If you disagree with FEMA's determination of eligibility or the form of assistance provided, you have the right to appeal within 60 days of the date of your notification letter. Send appeal letters to: Appeals Officer, FEMA- Individuals & Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055. Telephone: 1-800-621-FEMA or TTY 1-800-462-7585.