How Do You Get FEMA Assistance?


Quick Answer

To apply for assistance, check with the Federal Emergency Management Program's guidelines to determine eligibility. If you are eligible, apply to FEMA for assistance, and follow-up with any additional documentation required.

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Full Answer

  1. Determine if you qualify for assistance

    Disaster assistance from FEMA is available to cover needs such as housing, food, clothing, household items and other expenses deemed necessary by FEMA. To qualify for assistance, you have to primarily and currently live in an area that the president has declared is in a state of disaster. Other qualifications include having already filed for insurance benefits, having necessary expenses due to the disaster and having accepted assistance from all other possible sources. Additionally, in order to receive housing assistance, you have to have a valid Social Security number and a house that is unfit to live in due to the disaster.

  2. Apply for disaster assistance

    Apply for FEMA disaster assistance by phone, in person or online. FEMA allows disaster victims to apply for assistance from any Internet-capable device, as well as providing applicants with a way to check on the status of their application. Also, you can apply in person at a disaster recovery center or with a member of the FEMA disaster survivor assistance team.

  3. Follow-up on your application

    If you have insurance, FEMA requires for you to provide them with the decision letter from your insurance company. If you do not have insurance, or if your insurance settlement is not sufficient to cover your needs, FEMA sends out an inspector to assess the damages. After FEMA makes a decision, they send out a letter to inform the applicant.

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