FEMA officials urge applicants for aid to ‘Stay in Touch,’ get answers, resolve issues

Published 2:48 pm Monday, April 25, 2016

Special to The Leader

AUSTIN, Texas – Texans who registered with FEMA for disaster aid are urged by recovery officials to “stay in touch.” It is the best way to get answers and resolve potential issues that might have resulted in assistance being denied.

After registering with FEMA, applicants should receive notice by mail as to whether or not they qualify for federal disaster assistance. Read the letter carefully.

  • If eligible, the letter explains how much the grant will be, and how it is intended to be used.
  • If ineligible – or if the grant amount reads “0” – applicants may still qualify.

Applicants who are denied assistance can call the FEMA Helpline to understand why, or go online to DisasterAssistance.gov. A denial letter may just mean the application is missing information such as verification of occupancy of the damaged property, proof of identity, documentation of disaster damage, or what is covered under an insurance policy. Call the FEMA Helpline if you do not receive a letter.

As of Friday morning, the total amount of money approved to Orange County residents is $2,435,269.49

FEMA looks at a number of things to determine if a survivor will receive disaster assistance. The agency must be able to:

  • Verify disaster-related damage. If you received an inspection and believe the inspector did not see all of your damage, call the FEMA Helpline at800-621-3362.
  • Collect insurance information.
  • Verify an applicant’s identity.
  • Verify home occupancy. Applicants must provide proof of occupancy such as a utility bill.

Federal disaster assistance is available to residents of Erath, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hood, Jasper, Limestone, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Shelby and Tyler counties who suffered damage from the severe weather of March 7-29.

Texans in the affected counties who suffered disaster damage have until May 18 to register for assistance. To do so:

  • Go to gov; or
  • By phone (voice, 711 or video relay service) at 800-621-3362,TTY800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.