The deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance and SBA loans closed November 30th.
What should I beware of?
- A house is not eligible for a FEMA grant if it has flooded before. If a property has flooded, property owners are required to purchase flood insurance and are no longer eligible for FEMA assistance. If you were sold a property and it was not disclosed there had previously been a flood, you may have legal recourse against the previous property owner however.
- FEMA is allowed to demand you repay grants if it finds it made a mistake in issuing you the grant. This means if you receive a grant to cover damage on a house you own, and FEMA later discovers that house has flooded before, they can demand full repayment.
- Keep all papers you get from FEMA.
- If you receive a grant, you must spend money as directed and you should keep all of your receipts for up to three years after FEMA provided you assistance.
What happens when FEMA comes to inspect my property?
- Someone 18 years or older must be present during inspection and have: a photo id, proof of ownership/occupancy, insurance documents, list of occupants at time of disaster, list of disaster-caused damages.
- Homeowners can show a tax bill, deed, mortgage payment receipt or insurance policy with the property’s address. Renters can show a lease, rent payment receipt, utility bill or other document that shows the home was your primary residence at the time of the disaster
- Ask the inspector to see their FEMA ID. Do not give a FEMA inspector your bank or credit card information.
What do I do if I’m denied a grant?
- If FEMA offers you a SBA loan instead of a grant, always apply for the loan even if you don’t plan to accept it. Just because you apply does not mean you have to accept it. If you are not eligible for the loan or if the loan is for an insufficient amount, FEMA will automatically refer you back to its grant program and you may then receive a grant.
- Visit a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in person to talk about why you were denied assistance. You have 60 days to appeal a denied claim.