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Frequently Asked Disaster Assistance Questions


FEMA's representatives often give conflicting information regarding Disaster Assistance and its other programs. FEMA's printed materials and other information has been found to be out of synch with the governing regulations in the past. These discrepancies have led to legal actions against FEMA, it's contractors and business partners.

The information contained on this page are based upon the source materials linked at the bottom of this page.


Q. What is the maximum cash grant that a household can receive?

A. As of September, 2005, the amount is $26,200. The amount is adjusted for inflation.


Q. Is rental assistance in addition to the current cap of $26,200, or in addition to it.

A. The regulations are not entirely clear on this point, however, in most cases victims report that rental assistance in the form of rent and mortgage payments are counted toward the maximum assistance cap. The governing regulations specify that direct assistance, in the form of temporary housing such as FEMA campers or trailers, is not counted against the cap


Q. What is the maximum length of time that temporary housing assistance is available?

A. The federal regulations allow for up to eighteen months of temporary housing assistance in the form of campers, trailers and in some cases, victims have reported mobile homes. The eighteen month limitation may be extended at FEMA’s discretion and has been extended in the past.


Q. Why are some people offered FEMA campers, and other people offered rental assistance, or no assistance whatsoever?

A. In some cases, people wish to remain near their damaged property so they can oversee repairs and rental housing is not available close to their damaged home. In other cases people may not know that they are entitled to receive rental assistance in the form of a cash grant.


Q. What types of medical expenses are reimbursable from disaster assistance?

A. Medical expenses that are related to health conditions caused by or suffered from the disaster.


Q. Are funeral expenses reimbursable from disaster assistance?

A. Yes, provided that the death was caused by the disaster.


Q. What can I do if FEMA suggests that I call my state government for help in receiving federal disaster assistance?

A. Log a complaint with FEMAINFO or email us at webmail@femainfo.us and call FEMA again. A different operator will likely answer your call and may be more familiar with the regulations.


Q. Is it true that housing assistance is not available if the applicant owns a rental property?

A. No. The regulations specify that individuals or households that own a secondary or vacation residence within reasonable commuting distance to the disaster area, or who own available rental property that meets their temporary housing needs are not eligible for housing assistance.


Click here for source materials.


Last Modified: 100605 1831

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