Assured Your Recovery Is Insured? Have a Plan B
If you sustained damage and submitted a claim to your insurance company, your insurance settlement may not cover all of your expenses. FEMA says disaster assistance may help cover expenses that arise later. Apply for FEMA assistance and you may avoid unexpected, uncovered expenses, such as:
- Your insurance settlement is delayed, but you need to relocate because your home is uninhabitable.
- Damage in your home is not revealed until the spring when temperatures rise and contractors are able to conduct more comprehensive inspection of your home’s structure.
- You exhaust the additional living expenses provided by your insurance company and still need help with your disaster-related temporary housing.
FEMA Says File Insurance Claims Before Calling Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that survivors with homeowner’s insurance affected by disasters file a claim with their insurance company and then register for federal disaster assistance. Once residents have filed their insurance claim and registered for assistance, it’s important to be aware of the next steps in the process:
- Insured applicants will receive a determination letter from FEMA --- survivors should read the entire letter carefully. The letter may state that they’re ineligible for assistance, but this isn’t necessarily a final decision.
- FEMA cannot duplicate insurance benefits. To continue processing their application, survivors must submit insurance settlement documents to FEMA.
- The insurance documents will be reviewed; then an inspector may arrange a visit to the damaged home or apartment to determine if the applicant has uninsured, eligible losses.
- Federal disaster assistance may then be available to assist in filling the gaps that a survivor’s insurance has not covered.
- Survivors can call 800-621-FEMA (3362) if they have any questions.
FEMA Helps People with Disabilities Access Disaster Assistance
Federal Emergency Management Agency is working to make sure survivors with disabilities and those with functional needs have equal access to disaster assistance programs. To achieve this goal, FEMA coordinates efforts with state and local agencies and volunteer organizations to identify needs and locate appropriate resources. FEMA has a Disability Integration Advisor on site in Illinois to coordinate the various elements of the program.
FEMA provides physical access to facilities and reasonable program modifications as needed. For example, brochures are translated into large print, Braille and most languages. Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are accessible to people with disabilities, and assistance is offered to complete forms. Amplified phones, assisted listening devices, captioned phones, magnifiers, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Video Relay Services (VRS) re available at DRCs. On-site interpreters, including American Sign Language interpreters, are available upon request.