Federal Grants for Individuals Affected by Disasters

 

Tuscaloosa TornadoAmerica has spent billions of federal taxpayer dollars for natural disasters alone. Natural disasters such as superstorms and earthquakes strike small towns and cities, ruining vast crop fields and coastlines, damaging homes and affecting businesses.

As a solution, the federal government has set up DisasterAssistance.gov, which allows individuals impacted by a natural disaster seek for government benefits and other kinds of emergency financial aid. The website has a wealth of information pointing to provide emergency aid to homeowners, business owners, people with disabilities, Veterans or servicemembers, students, seniors and members of American Indian Tribes or Alaska Native Tribes that have suffered losses during a natural disaster hit.

Check out some of the features that DisasterAssistance.gov offers to individuals to help them with disaster relief:

Individuals and Households Program (IHP) – Housing Assistance: Managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the program helps you and other household members affected by a natural disaster take care of expenditures and various needs associated with housing that cannot be met by insurance or other forms of disaster assistance. Forms of housing assistance include temporary housing, replacement, repair, and semi-permanent/permanent housing construction.

Requirements

To obtain funding or assistance for your housing needs resulting from a disaster, you must:

  • Have losses in an area that’s been declared a disaster for individual assistance by the President of the United States.
  • Have not filed for insurance benefits, have no insurance, property is not covered by insurance, or have insufficient insurance settlement to cover losses and damages.
  • Be a United States citizen, a non-citizen national, or an eligible alien.
  • Permanently reside in the declared disaster area and were living at the time the disaster occurred.
  • Not be able to live in your home at present, cannot get to your home because of the disaster, or your home needs repairs due to the damage caused by the disaster.

Individuals and Households Program (IHP) – Other Needs Assistance: This program, which is also run by DHS, offers aid to individuals and households affected by a disaster. Similar to IHP’s Housing Assistance, this program enables individuals and their families address needs and expenses that cannot be covered by other forms of insurance or disaster assistance. Other needs assistance include medical, dental, funeral and personal property.

Requirements

To obtain funding or assistance for your “other than housing” needs resulting from a disaster, you must:

  • Have losses in an area that’s been declared a disaster for individual assistance by the President of the United States.
  • Have not filed for insurance benefits, have no insurance, property is not covered by insurance, or have insufficient insurance settlement to cover losses and damages.
  • Be a United States citizen, a non-citizen national, or an eligible alien.
  • Have serious needs and necessary expenditures related to a disaster.
  • Have acknowledged assistance from all other sources for which you are eligible, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans.

Home and Property Disaster Loans: Managed by the SBA, this program provides affordable, accessible and suitable financial assistance to homeowners and renters who have experienced damages and losses due to a natural disaster. Financial assistance is available through low-interest, long-term loans for losses that are not met by insurance or other forms of recovery assistance.

Up to $200,000 are available for homeowners to help them repair, replace or restore their primary dwellings back to its pre-disaster conditions. Both renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to replace damaged personal property such as clothing, appliances, furniture, automobiles, etc. This loan cannot be used to replace expensive or irreplaceable items, such as recreational vehicles, antiques, collections, fur coats, pleasure boats, etc.

Requirements

To be eligible for this benefit program, homeowners and renters must have sustained physical damage and reside in a disaster declared area.

Business Disaster Loans: Also operated by the SBA, these disaster loans are the main type of federal assistance for rebuilding, repair and restoring of non-farm, private sector disaster losses. This disaster loan program is the only type of SBA assistance not limited to small businesses.

Businesses of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair, replace or restore damaged real property, inventory, equipment and machinery, and other business assets.

Requirements

To qualify for this type of loan assistance, businesses or private non-organizations must have sustained physical damage and be headquartered in a disaster declared region.