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Government Aid and Services

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Home Page > Government Aid and Services > Disaster Assistance

Eligibility

 
  • To qualify for assistance, your losses must have occurred in an area covered by a disaster declaration (check your county) AND if you have insurance, you must file a claim with your insurance company.

  • Housing Needs Assistance – To receive money or help for "Housing Needs" that are the result of a disaster, all of the following must be true:

    • You have losses in an area that has been declared a disaster by the president.
    • You have filed for insurance benefits and the damage to your property is not covered by your insurance or your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your losses.
    • You or someone who lives with you is a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.
    • The home in the disaster area is where you usually live and where you were living at the time of the disaster.
    • You are not able to live in your home now, you cannot get to your home due to the disaster, or your home requires repairs because of damage from the disaster.

You may NOT be eligible for "Housing Needs" assistance if:

    • You have other, adequate rent-free housing that you can use (for example, rental property that is not occupied).
    • Your home that was damaged is your secondary or vacation residence.
    • Your expenses resulted only from leaving your home as a precaution and you were able to return to your home immediately after the incident.
    • You have refused assistance from your insurance provider(s).
    • Your only losses are business losses (including farm business other than the farmhouse and self-employment) or items not covered by this program.
    • The damaged home where you live is located in a designated flood hazard area and your community is not participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. In this case, the flood damage to your home would not be covered, but you may qualify for rental assistance or items not covered by flood insurance, such as water wells, septic systems, medical, dental, or funeral expenses.

  • Other than housing needs – To receive money for "Other than Housing Needs" that are the result of a disaster, all the following must be true

    • You have losses in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the President.
    • You have filed for insurance benefits and the damage to your property is not covered by your insurance or your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your losses.
    • You or someone who lives with you is a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.
    • You have necessary expenses or serious needs because of the disaster.
    • You have accepted assistance from all other sources for which you are eligible, such as insurance proceeds or Small Business Administration disaster loans.

  • Additional Services

    • Counseling - To be eligible for crisis counseling services funded by this program, the person must be a resident of the designated area or must have been located in the area at the time the disaster occurred. The person must also have a mental health problem which was caused by or aggravated by the disaster or its aftermath, or he or she must benefit from services provided by the program.
    • Disaster Unemployment Assistance – All unemployed individuals must register with the State's employment services office before they can receive DUA benefits. However, although most States have a provision that an individual must be able and available to accept employment opportunities comparable to the employment the individual held before the disaster, not all States require an individual to search for work.
    • Legal Services – Disaster legal services are provided to low-income individuals who, prior to or because of the disaster, are unable to secure legal services adequate to meet their needs as a consequence of a major disaster.
    • Special Tax Considerations
    • Casualty Loss Deduction – In order to deduct a casualty loss, the amount of the loss must exceed 10 percent of the adjusted gross income for the tax year by at least $100. If the loss was sustained from a federally declared disaster, the taxpayer may choose which of those two tax years provides the better tax advantage.
    • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can expedite refunds due to taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area. An expedited refund can be a relatively quick source of cash, does not need to be repaid, and does not need an Individual Assistance declaration. It is available to any taxpayer in a federally declared disaster area.

 

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