What to Expect After You Register For Disaster Assistance
Staff Report From South Carolina CEO
Friday, May 8th, 2020
If you were affected by the April 12-13 severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds in Aiken, Colleton, Hampton, Marlboro, Oconee, Orangeburg and Pickens counties, you may be eligible for FEMA help.
Assistance provided by FEMA for homeowners and renters can include grants for rent and repairs to make their primary home habitable. It can also help other serious disaster-related needs like replacing essential household items, medical and dental expenses and funeral and burial costs.
First, if you haven’t already done so, contact your insurance company and file a claim for the disaster-caused damage you’ve suffered. You don’t have to wait to start cleaning up but be sure to take photographs or video of the damage and keep all receipts for repair work.
If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, contact FEMA by either going online to disasterassistance.gov or by calling the helpline at 800-621-3362 or TDD 800-462-7585.
Information that may be useful to have when you register includes:
Address of the damaged primary dwelling where the damage occurred
Current mailing address
Current telephone number
Total household annual income
Routing and account number for checking or savings account so FEMA may directly
transfer disaster assistance funds
A description of disaster-caused damage and losses
Home Inspections and COVID-19
If you reported that you cannot or may not be able to safely live in your home, it may be necessary for FEMA to perform an inspection of the damaged dwelling. Due to the COVID-19 nationwide emergency and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans, all FEMA field operations are suspended, inspections will be conducted remotely, by phone.
For remote inspections, FEMA inspectors will contact applicants by phone to answer questions about the type and extent of damage sustained. Remote inspections provide a new way of evaluating damage; comparable to traditional, in-person inspections and expedites the delivery of recovery assistance to survivors based on their eligibility.
Survivors with minimal damage who can live in their homes will not automatically be scheduled for a home inspection when applying to FEMA, however, they may request an inspection if they find significant disaster-caused damage afterwards.
Remote inspections have no impact on the types of Other Needs Assistance available that do not require an inspection. This includes childcare, transportation, medical and dental, funeral expenses, moving and storage, and Group Flood Insurance Policy Assistance.
If you have any questions, you can always contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. For TDD call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service please call 800-621-3362.