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posted: 5/11/2013 12:25 PM

How to apply for disaster aid

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Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed under President Obama's declaration.

• Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unliveable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended based on a review of individual applicant requirements.

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• Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.

• Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.

• Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.

• Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.

• Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million.

• Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster, income tax assistance for filing casualty losses, veterans benefits and Social Security matters.

How to apply:

Begin the disaster application process by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov, by web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1 (800) 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone number is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday until further notice. Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves such as name, permanent address, phone number and insurance coverage to help substantiate losses.

For more details related to aid, check fema.gov/news-release/2013/05/10/federal-aid-programs-state-illinois-declaration.

Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency

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