First, file with insurance & apply with FEMA
If you haven’t already done so, file a claim with your insurance company. If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, contact FEMA for federal assistance by going online to disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
Don’t wait to start the clean-up process. Be sure to photograph/video damage and keep all receipts for repair work.
If you’re insured for the damage to your home : FEMA may not send an inspector right away. You’ll need to submit insurance documentation to show your coverage is insufficient to meet your disaster-related needs or you have exhausted the Additional Living Expenses provided by the insurance company. FEMA cannot pay for damage covered by insurance or duplicate benefits from another source.
Next, comes a call
A FEMA inspector will contact you to schedule an appointment 7 to 10 days after registration, if you weren’t insured for the damage to your home. During that call, write down:
The inspection is free. It generally takes 30 to 40 minutes, and consists of inspecting all areas of your home and a review of your records. Inspectors can only verify your loss. They do not decide the outcome of your claim or condemn a property. FEMA inspects damaged property for disaster recovery program purposes only.
The inspector will ask to see:
It’s important to note: you may also receive a visit from more than one inspector during the recovery process. In addition to FEMA contracted housing inspectors, representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), as well as state and local officials may also visit neighborhoods in affected areas.
Finally, a decision will be sent to you
Survivors should receive a determination letter with their eligibility decision and the reason for it by regular mail or electronically, typically within 7 to 10 days after the inspection.
For those who are eligible, the letter states the dollar amount of the grant and how the money must be used. If you disagree with FEMA’s decision, the letter explains how you can appeal the decision.
Read your determination letter carefully. FEMA may need additional information or documentation from you—such as an insurance settlement showing you may not have been covered for all of your essential needs—before you can be reconsidered for federal assistance.
SBA Loan - what is it?
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government's primary source of funds for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.
The SBA Process:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) may send you a loan packet after you apply for assistance at 1-800-621- FEMA (3362) or www.fema.gov. It is very important to complete the forms in this packet and return them to the SBA as soon as you can. If you do not fill out and return the SBA application, you may not be eligible for other types of assistance.
Rebuild Florida Important Documents
Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) Program
TSA helps you if you cannot return to your home after shelters have closed because of loss or damage. This program provides temporary assistance and helps pay for the cost of a hotel room while you look for long-term housing. To learn more about the program and whether you may qualify, go to: www.fema.gov/transitional-shelter-assistance.
Mortgage Forbearance may be available if you live in an area affected by a hurricane (or other disaster) and you are having trouble making your mortgage payments. This means that you may be able to temporarily stop making mortgage payments without going into foreclosure. The payments are generally postponed, not forgiven. In addition, late fees may also be waived. Call your mortgage servicer (the company you send your mortgage payments) to see if they can work with you.
The housing locator service allows people to locate available housing that best fits their individual and family needs. The service can be accessed online 24 hours a day and is supported by a toll-free, bilingual call center M-F, 9:00 am - 8:00 pm EST. Individuals can easily search for housing using a wide variety of search criteria with special mapping features and receive apartment listings that provide a multitude of important information about each unit. In addition, the site connects people to other housing resources through website links and provides helpful tools for renters such as an affordability calculator, rental checklist, and renter rights and responsibilities information.
Florida Housing Search