If you live in an area that was affected by a disaster, you can get help from the federal government. You can visit www.disasterassistance.gov to find out what kinds of help you can get, apply for assistance, and to later check the status of your application.
In addition, you can also get low interest disaster loans to help you rebuild and replace homes and businesses that were damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster. To get more information, you can go the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Disaster Assistance at: www.sba.gov and click on the “Loans & Grants” tab.
Types of Benefits Available in an Area Declared a Disaster
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can offer you extra cash or replace some of your benefits if you are already getting SNAP. You may also be able to use your EBT card to buy hot meals and other foods that are normally not allowed. To find out what types of SNAP benefits you can get in your state, go to: www.fns.usda.gov and click on “Disaster Assistance.”
Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) provides emergency food benefits if your state is a presidentially-declared disaster area and your state is offering the assistance. To find out if D-SNAP is offered in your area, go to: www.disasterassistance.gov.
Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Program provides you with tax counseling and assistance. Special tax law provisions are available to help you if you live in certain states affected by the disaster, especially if your location is declared a major disaster area. Get the details from www.irs.gov and click on “Disaster Relief” at the bottom of the page. This page will be updated with new information for each disaster as they become available.
Property Tax Relief may also be available. Please contact your local tax office for more information.
Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) Program helps you if you cannot return to your home due to loss or damages. The program provides temporary assistance and helps pay the cost of the hotel room while you look for long-term housing. Go to: www.femaevachotels.com to find a hotel that participates in this program.
FEMA Housing Portal lets you enter basic information so that you can get a list of rentals in your area if you cannot get back into your home. To find a home, go to: www.fema.gov and search “housing portal.”
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Disaster Relief may be available in your area to help pay for your home energy needs and energy-related home repairs or installations. To find out if your state offers LIHEAP Disaster Relief and the type of help available, you should contact the agency that provides LIHEAP assistance such as your local Department of Human Services (DHS), Community Action Agency, or Area Agency on Aging (AAA).
You can also get help and find benefit programs that provides you with cash assistance and other help by using BenefitsCheckUp.org. By answering a few questions, you can get a list of benefit programs that can help you pay for medications, food, utilities, and more. You will have access to program guidelines, websites, online forms (if available), paper application in various languages (if available), and other resources.