About Disaster Assistance
Established by federal and state law, the Disaster Assistance Program uses public funds to provide financial assistance to persons and governments victimized by a major disaster. Following an emergency declaration by the President and Governor, state and local disaster assistance programs are made available for those governments and individuals who suffered loss or damage within the designated area.
Individuals & Households Program
The Individuals and Households Program (IHP) allows the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Commonwealth, to provide financial assistance
and direct services to individuals and households that have necessary disaster-related
expenses and serious needs that cannot be met through other means. Disaster
Assistance programs are not intended to indemnify all disaster losses or to
purchase items or services that may be considered as nonessential, luxury, decorative
or improvements.The two provisions of the IHP are:
- Housing Assistance (HA) which is administered by FEMA.
- Other Needs Assistance (ONA) which is administered by the Commonwealth.
The maximum assistance available for IHP is $27,200 per household. Funding for IHP is 75 percent federal and 25 percent state money. A single registration is used for both provisions of IHP. The standard registration period is 60 days following the date of the major declaration. Registration is made by calling (800) 621-3362, the toll-free FEMA National Processing Center, or for the hearing impaired, at (800) 462-7585 or apply online on the FEMA Web site.
Housing Assistance (HA) Grants
Housing Assistance is provided to disaster applicants displaced from their
primary residences. It also covers pre-disaster residences that are deemed
uninhabitable and those who have no insurance to provide for their housing
needs. Assistance may be available in the following categories:
- Permanent housing construction
- Temporary housing
Other Needs Assistance (ONA) Grants
Assistance through ONA is restricted to disaster applicants whose income does
not meet the Small Business Administration (SBA) income test, or who have
applied for an SBA loan and been denied for a loan. Applicants with insurance
may not be eligible. Assistance may be available to meet necessary and
serious needs by providing essential items or services in the following
- Medical, dental and funeral expenses
- Personal property, transportation and other expenses (including moving and storage, group flood insurance and miscellaneous post-incident expenses)