Saturday, July 16, 2011
For some individuals who've endured flooded homes and businesses this summer, a bright spot is on the horizon. Residents and businesses in some local counties will be able to receive recovery money from the federal government to clean up the summer's sopping mess!
News of this financial assistance program for individuals came earlier this year and will cover 29 different counties. This is in addition to the federal public assistance program that was declared for 50 other counties to help state and local governments repair or replace damaged facilities, such as roads or municipal utilities.
This federal assistance program will offer up to $29,900 per claim from storm damage. This program's assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.
Who qualifies for assistance? Anyone who is living in one of the specified 29 counties and the home in the disaster area is the claimant's primary residence. A home or business owner who has insurance may still be eligible for the federal grants and loans through the program if the property damage is not covered by the insurance policy or the insurance settlement is "insufficient to meet losses" according to program's website.
Residents of these counties can call FEMA or register online, "which is really fast and easy,".
When applying, individuals should have these items ready and on hand: Social Security number, current and pre-disaster address, telephone number, insurance information, total household income, and a description of losses caused by the disaster.
After the application is complete, a FEMA application number will be issued which should be written down and kept for future reference. The agency will mail people a copy of their application and an application guide to address questions. About 10 to 14 days after a request is filed, an inspector is then assigned to set up an appointment for a home inspection. The inspector will come to the applicant's home and review the damage.
Inspectors are contractors, not FEMA employees; however, the FEMA website states that the inspectors will have FEMA identification. There is no fee for the inspection, but applicants must be present for the scheduled appointment and provide proof of ownership and occupancy to the inspector.