Federal Assistance Programs
Note: Not all programs may be implemented in a Presidential Disaster Declaration. Individuals should check with their local Office of Emergency Services to see which programs apply when a disaster is declared.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
When the President declares a disaster that includes the Assistance to Individuals and Households Program (IHP), there are two provisions of assistance that may apply: Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance.
When a residence is considered uninhabitable due to a disaster, funding may be available for a limited period of time to assist renters and homeowners find an alternate place to live. Monies may also be available to assist homeowners that are underinsured or with no insurance to repair damage caused by the disaster to their primary residence, or for the replacement of their home destroyed in the disaster.
Other Needs Assistance (ONA)
Money may be available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by a disaster. This includes disaster related medical, dental and funeral costs; clothing; household items; tools required for a job, necessary educational materials; fuel for primary heat source; clean up; disaster damaged vehicles; and moving and storage expenses related to the disaster. For more information, go to Disaster Assistance Available from FEMA.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
U.S. SBA Disaster Loans
SBA offers low interest loans for homeowners and renters, enabling them to repair or replace uninsured property damaged or destroyed in a disaster declared by SBA or the President.
In a major disaster declared by the President, the federal government may provide grants to county mental health departments to provide referral services and short term intervention counseling to assist people affected by the disaster. There are two separate grant programs that counties can apply for funding: immediate services and regular services. To be eligible for crisis counseling services under this program, a person must be a resident of the designated area or must have been located in the designated area at the time the disaster occurred. If you are seeking crisis counseling assistance due to a disaster, please contact the 24-Hour Crisis Intervention number in your county.
Disaster Unemployment Program (DUA)
In a major disaster declared by the President and when DUA is funded, the Employment Development Department may provide unemployment benefits and re-employment services to individuals, including self-employed individuals, who were living or working in the affected areas at the time of the major disaster, who are unemployed as a result of the major disaster, and who are not covered under the regular Unemployment Insurance Program. For further information, regarding DUA, individuals should contact their local Employment Development Department or visit their website.
Disaster Legal Services (DLS)
When a major disaster declared by the President, FEMA may request funding for Disaster Legal Services. If approved, DLS may provide selected legal services to disaster survivors who have insufficient resources to secure adequate legal services.
Emergency Food Assistance
In a disaster declared by the President, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services, may provide emergency foods for states that are in crisis through food commodities or through emergency food stamps, which would be available to eligible households through the county social services department.
Cora Brown Fund
The Cora Brown Fund is a program of last resort used to assist survivors in Presidentially Declared disaster areas who have disaster-related needs and are unable to obtain adequate assistance from other federal, state, and local government programs or from voluntary agencies. Potential recipients do not need to apply for this assistance, but are rather identified through FEMA representatives. Awards from this fund may be granted only at the discretion of FEMA Headquarters.