More than 507,950 individuals have registered for the Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance in wake of Superstorm Sandy, as of Dec. 17. FEMA also said this week that $1.09 billion in disaster aid has been approved so far.
Additionally, FEMA noted there are now 52 disaster recovery centers that are up and running in Sandy-affected regions, including 25 locations in New York and 24 in New Jersey. Some 5,460 FEMA personnel have been deployed for the Sandy recovery effort.
FEMA offers an online checklist that explains who may be eligible for Sandy aid. The checklist includes the following:
• Losses must have occurred in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the President.
• The applicant or someone who lives with the applicant is a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.
• The applicant filed for insurance benefits, but the damage to the property is not covered by insurance or the insurance settlement is insufficient to meet the losses.
FEMA explains that disaster help may be available to those who already have insurance coverage and whose losses occurred in an area covered by the President’s disaster declaration. FEMA may be able to provide some assistance if any of the following situations occur after filing insurance claims:
• Delayed insurance settlement: Delayed means a decision on the insurance settlement has been delayed longer than 30-days from the time the claim has been filed. If a decision on the insurance settlement has been delayed, the insured may write a letter to FEMA explaining the circumstance. The insured should include documentation from the insurance company proving that the claim has been filed.
If the claim was filed over the telephone, the insured should include the claim number, date when applied, and the estimated time of how long it will take to receive the settlement. Any help awarded to the insured by FEMA would be considered an advance and must be repaid to FEMA once an insurance settlement is received.
• Insurance settlement insufficient to meet disaster-related needs: If the insured has received the maximum settlement from the insurance and still has an unmet disaster-related need, the insured may write a letter to FEMA indicating the unmet disaster-related need. The insured will also need to send in documentation from the insurance company for review.
• Depletion of the Additional Living Expenses (ALE) provided by insurer: If the insured has received the maximum settlement from the insurance for Additional Living Expenses (Loss of Use) and still needs help with the disaster-related temporary housing need, the insured may write a letter to FEMA indicating why the insured continues to have a temporary housing need. The insured will also need to provide documentation to prove use of ALE from insurance, and a permanent housing plan.
• Unable to locate rental resources in area: The FEMA helpline has a list of rental resources in the disaster area. If no resources are available in the insured’s county, then the helpline agent can provide resources in an adjacent county.
Assistance applications can be filed online at: www.DisasterAssistance.gov or through smartphone, at: m.fema.gov, or via phone number 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 1-800-462-7585 for people with speech or hearing disabilities).
More information on assistance eligibility and who may or may not qualify for Sandy aid can be found at www.fema.gov/do-i-qualify-assistance.