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FEMA Assistance 102

FEMA Assistance 102

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FEMA Assistance 102

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  1. FEMA Assistance 102 How to help Survivors From Puerto Rico with FEMA Assistance programs and the appeal process Unit 2 January 03, 2018

  2. How to Register with FEMA • • This video describes the registration process online, by phone or in a service center • Visit for more information • Select your language of choice for information on the website • Also download FEMA’s free mobile app to your smartphone in your language of choice

  3. • • This video describes (step-by-step) how an individual can apply online with screen shots • People may need help registering online • Applicants may choose to receive FEMA letters and updates via email • Always make sure the current mailing address and phone number are accurate • Applying online gives the person the ability to update contact information as often as needed

  4. What to Expect • The Tri-Fold for Help After a Disaster is in English and Spanish. The link for the main page as well as the Tri-fold link in both languages is below: • • This and other information is available on

  5. How Will Survivors Find You? • How will people who need assistance find out about services in your area? • School enrollment? • Healthcare options? • Housing assistance? • Employment assistance? • Childcare or transportation options?

  6. 211 or FEMA Helpline • An option you may consider is contacting 211 to create a “Puerto Rico support” list of services • Contact your FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison (VAL) to add your agency’s information to the FEMA Helpline • Contact agencies like the School Board, Social Services or other places people normally go for help and make sure they have your contact information and what services you provide • Contact your local Emergency Manager and provide this information to the County, Township or other appropriate government agencies

  7. FEMA Assistance • May be provided financially or directly, including: • Transitional Sheltering Assistance/Directlease • Multi-family lease and repair • Rental assistance • Home repair assistance • Personal property assistance • ** TSA and rental assistance may be used outside the Declared state

  8. Eligible survivors can find the list of TSA-approved hotels on Be sure to call the hotel first to check availability Contact the hotel directly to ask if “Transitional Sheltering Assistance rooms are available.” If rooms are available, survivors should go to the hotel or motel in person to book a room, and be sure to have their FEMA registration number and a valid photo ID If a survivors has a disability or access or functional need, participating hotels are required to indicate the number of hotel rooms with “ADA accommodations.” Transitional Sheltering Assistance

  9. The TSA program allows eligible disaster survivors to shelter in a hotel or motel, for a limited period of time, as a bridge to intermediate and longer-term temporary housing. TSA participating hotels are available both in Puerto Rico and for those survivors who are in the continental United States FEMA makes payments directly to participating hotels and motels for room rental and taxes up to the GSA rate. Survivors are responsible for all other costs such as room service, laundry, parking, pet fees, telephone or other services. Transitional Sheltering Assistance

  10. Third Party Inspections • FEMA has a modified third-party inspection process for 4339-PR to allow the applicant/co-applicant to verbally authorize a third-party agent to meet the inspector for the home inspection when the applicant, or another member of the household 18 years or older, is unable to meet inspector within a reasonable timeframe • Provide the name and phone number of the third party to the inspector • Third party must have the FEMA registration number of the applicant at the time of inspection • Third party should verify the inspectors ID

  11. Other Programs • SBA Loans • HUD Housing assistance • USDA assistance programs • VA Assistance

  12. Are you a caseworker providing assistance? • FEMA Helpline 1.800.621.3362 can answer questions for the applicant. If the caseworker is present the applicant can give FEMA (onetime) permission to discuss their application status with the caseworker. • The applicant may chose to receive their FEMA information through Email. This will make decision letters easily shared with caseworkers. • Written Consent from the applicant to FEMA will give the caseworker permission to discuss the case with FEMA at anytime. (see written consent guidance in the helpers guide)

  13. Information sharing • FEMA will not disclose applicant information without consent from the applicant. • A Written Consent is an agreement (from the applicant) allowing FEMA to share applicant information with someone other than the applicant • A Written Consent (or Power of Attorney) is not necessary when an applicant calls Helpline and requests we speak to a third party on their behalf during the call. This is permission does not last beyond the time of the call. • Written consent must include the following statement: “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct”

  14. Routine Use Agreement Groups such as Long Term Recovery Committees (LTRC/LTRG) may request a “Routine Use” of information from FEMA that has information on all applicants within a state or locality. National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) are trusted partners with FEMA and may also request a routine use agreement if the organization is assisting applicants and have “a need to know” to avoid duplication of benefits. The State often requests this information through routine use to evaluate the scope of applicants that may have unmet needs.

  15. FEMA Application Determinations • Caseworkers should request to see the FEMA determination letters to better understand the applicants current status. As discussed previously the applicant can chose to receive these correspondence via email for easy access and timely responses to requests for information from FEMA also known as an RFI (Request for information). Some case determinations require additional documentation before a decision is made for particular items such as medical, dental and/or childcare expenses. The RFI will outline what is required to make the determination. Doctors statement, receipts or other written documentation may be requested prior to receiving a determination on certain items.

  16. When to Appeal? • After looking at the eligibility information provided on and the applicants’ documents, if the applicant believes they may be eligible for assistance they have the right to appeal FEMA’s decision • The next slide explains the information needed on every appeal letter. • More information on appeals may also be found on

  17. What to include in the appeal Letter • When submitting your letter, please include your full name, FEMA registration numberon every page of the submission. • The applicant must include date and place of birth, damaged dwelling address and the item or determination they are appealing. • The letter must be either notarized, include a copy of a state issued identification card, or include the following statement, “I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.” You must sign the letter. (Applicant)

  18. FEMA Assistance Overview • The following slides are more detailed information on FEMA types of assistance included for your awareness • Please feel free to share this presentation with anyone who may be assisting evacuees from any of the Declared areas • Also be sure the visit for more information • Fact sheet and FAQs provide answers to most common questions • *****Keep in mind some of the programs discussed in the next sections may only be available within the declared area******

  19. FEMA Assistance Overview • Disaster survivors may be eligible for resources or monetary assistance from FEMA for losses not covered by insurance • Only available in designated counties following a Presidentially-declared disaster • Only for critical expenses • Not intended to restore a property to pre-disaster condition • Assistance varies with each disaster event and is determined by FEMA’s Individual and Households Program based on: • The degree of damage • Available funds • Other existing assistance programs

  20. Vacant units are leased by FEMA and are used as temporary housing for disaster survivors. FEMA pays the rent for these units. Utility costs and other expenses not covered in the lease are the responsibility of the disaster survivor. Property owners interested in participating in this program can call 1-202-705-9140 or email FEMA will notify disaster survivors that they are eligible for FEMA-leased units as units become available. Direct Lease Housing Assistance

  21. FEMA can make repairs to rental properties with vacant rental units through an agreement that allows FEMA to lease the vacant units once they are repaired. Vacant units are leased by FEMA and are used as temporary housing for disaster survivors. Property owners interested in participating in this program can call 1-202-705-9140 or email FEMA will notify disaster survivors that they are eligible for FEMA-leased units as units become available. Multi-Family Lease and Repair Housing Assistance

  22. Renters displaced by the storms may be eligible for temporary rental assistance from FEMA. FEMA will provide funds directly to survivors, who are then responsible for finding available rental resources of their choosing. FEMA will require documentation of receipts, and survivors must be able to demonstrate that they are working toward a more permanent housing option by repairing their home or by identifying some other long-term option. Rental Assistance Housing Assistance

  23. Financial grant to help make minimal repairs to a primary residence, utilities, and residential structures, including privately-owned access routes (driveways, roads, or bridges) FEMA may provide financial assistance for the repair of real property components, including, but not limited to: Structural components of a home (foundation, exterior walls, roof) Windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, and cabinetry Home Repair Assistance Housing Assistance

  24. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development programs Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) immediate foreclosure relief Federal Housing Administration (FHS) mortgage insurance Government of Puerto Rico’s Tu Hogar Renace (Your Home Reborn) effort U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Blue Roof Program Other Housing Assistance forPuerto Rico

  25. Assistance for uninsured or underinsured, disaster-related, necessary expenses and serious needs May include housing related expenses other than rent, such as: Repair or replacement of household appliances, furnishings and other personal property items Repair or replacement of uniforms, tools and equipment required for work or school Disaster-related medical, dental and funeral expenses Eligibility for some types of personal property are dependent on eligibility with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program Other Needs Assistance (ONA)

  26. Personal Property Assistance To repair or replace essential household items including, furnishings and appliances, and specialized tools and protective clothing required by an employer. Transportation Assistance To repair or replace a vehicle damaged by a disaster and other transportation-related costs. Moving and Storage Assistance To relocate and store personal property to prevent further disaster damage, such as ongoing repairs, and returning the property to the primary residence. SBA-Dependent ONA

  27. Medical and Dental Assistance To assist with medical or dental expenses caused by a disaster, which may include injury, illness, loss of prescribed medication and equipment, or insurance co-payments. Child Care Assistance A one-time payment, covering up to eight cumulative weeks of child care expenses, for a household’s increased financial burden to care for children. Miscellaneous or Other Items Assistance To reimburse for eligible items purchased or rented after a disaster incident for an individual or household’s recovery. Non-SBA Dependent ONA

  28. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest, long-term disaster loans to help homeowners and renters with personal property, transportation, and moving and storage expenses incurred due to a declared disaster. FEMA refers the applicant’s registration to SBA if the applicant’s income meets SBA minimum guidelines. Homeowners and renters who do not qualify for a disaster loan from the SBA may be eligible for additional assistance from FEMA for personal property, moving and storage, and transportation assistance. Low Interest Disaster Loans

  29. These general conditions must be met for an applicant to be eligible to receive FEMA Individual and Household Program Assistance: The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien. FEMA must be able to verify the applicant's identity. The applicant’s insurance, or other forms of disaster assistance received, cannot meet their disaster-caused needs. The applicant’s necessary expenses and serious needs are a directly result of a declared disaster. Who is Eligible for Assistance?

  30. If a survivor has insurance, they do not need to file an insurance claim before applying for FEMA assistance Survivors are encouraged to contact their insurance company as soon as possible to start the insurance claim process When an insurance settlement is received, call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 to discuss assistance options By law, FEMA cannot give assistance for losses addressed by insurance coverage or other sources Survivors don’t have to wait on FEMA to begin making home repairs Survivors should document damage and save their receipts for both FEMA and insurance inspectors What to Know Before Applying

  31. Registration intake is the process survivors take to register as a disaster survivor with your specific information into FEMA’s information systems database. Survivors typically have a 60-day period to register Takes approximately 20 minutes to complete Three ways to register: Over the phone Online In person The Registration Process

  32. Social Security number Pre-disaster damaged address Current mailing address Current telephone number Insurance information Total household annual income Description of losses caused by the disaster Bank routing and account numbers (optional) Information Needed to Register

  33. Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) If a survivor uses 711 or video relay service, they should still call 1-800-621-3362 If a survivor is deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech disability and uses a TTY, they should call 1-800-462-7585 FEMA Standard Hours of Operation are: 7:00AM – 10:00PM local time, 7 days a week How to Complete a Registration- Phone

  34. Visit Use a computer, tablet, or smart phone How to Complete a Registration- Online

  35. Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) Locate open DRCs on or text DRC and your zip code to 4FEMA (43362) Specialists from FEMA, the Government of Puerto Rico and municipalities, other federal agencies, and other partners are there to provide services including: Guidance regarding disaster recovery Clarification of any written correspondence Housing assistance and rental resource information Small Business Administration program information How to Complete a Registration- In Person

  36. Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams DSA teams canvass affected neighborhoods after a disaster to help survivors register for assistance Team members carry official FEMA photo identification Teams can provide referrals to community partners Philadelphia Disaster Assistance Services Center For survivors in the Philadelphia area Located at the Rivera Recreation Center on the corner of 5th and Allegheny streets How to Complete a Registration- In Person

  37. Financial assistance is paid to survivors by a U.S. Treasury check or through an electronic funds transfer into the recipient’s bank account. If applicable, FEMA performs an inspection to verify disaster-related damage and then eligibility is determined. An inspector will contact you directly to schedule an appointment Inspectors will have FEMA photo identification If the registrant cannot be present for an inspection, another member of the household over the age of 18 may meet with the inspector After Registration

  38. There are multiple ways for survivors to access their registration, upload documents, change contact information, and track actions of their account: Opt into SMS text message notifications The official FEMA number is 43362 Access their account online Call FEMA 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) Obtaining an Application Status Update

  39. Applicants, who disagree with FEMA’s determination of eligibility or the form of assistance provided, have the right to appeal within 60 days of the date on the award or denial letter from FEMA For more information on appealing, contact the FEMA Disaster Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 Applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY can call 1-800-462-7585 directly Those using 711 or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362 Appealing FEMA’s Decision

  40. Survivors are urged to verify the identity of individuals asking to register them for FEMA assistance. Individuals can protect themselves by: Asking to see official identification badges Never providing financial information over the phone Getting a written contract for work performed Taking pictures of the contractor’s business card and his driver’s license If you suspect anyone of fraud, call the FEMA disaster fraud hotline at 1-800-720-5721 Fraud