Topic: FEMA

← Back to Duplication of benefits

FEMA and other federally-funded programs are barred by law from providing money or assistance to people who have already been helped, unless the assistance they have received so far is not enough. For example, if your HVAC system is damaged in a flood and will cost $6000 to replace and your insurance company provides you with $6000 for the work, FEMA cannot give you any additional money for your HVAC. However, if your insurance company pays you $3000, then you may get additional assistance from FEMA.

If any organization—insurance company, FEMA, local government, nonprofit, etc.—gives you money to help you with disaster recovery, you should use the money as stated by that organization and keep receipts to prove how you spent that money. You may need to prove that you spent it appropriately, either to the organization that originally provided the funds, or to other organizations if you need more assistance afterwards.

Topic: FEMA

← Back to FEMA and Flood Insurance

If any owner of a property receives FEMA assistance for a home that is located in a floodplain, FEMA will inform the homeowner that in the future, all owners of the home are required to keep flood insurance on the home. This requirement lasts as long as the home is still in a floodplain, and it applies to future owners as well. If the owner does not keep flood insurance on the home, and the home is damaged in another disaster, FEMA will deny assistance. This is true even if the current owner does not know about the flood insurance requirement.

Topic: FEMA

← Back to FEMA Home Repair Assistance

If your home was damaged by a major disaster, you may be eligible for repair assistance from FEMA. FEMA repair assistance is only intended to help you with basic repairs to make it safe to return to your home. FEMA is not intended to assist with all repairs or result in your home returning to its pre-disaster condition.

FEMA also expects that you will soon return to your home and take steps to prevent further damage. For instance, if you have a hole in your roof, FEMA expects that you will place a tarp over it to prevent interior damage to your home.

You may be eligible for home repair assistance if:

  • You or a household member is a U.S. citizen, non‐citizen national, or qualified alien
  • Your home is in a declared disaster area
  • You own your home
  • Your home is uninhabitable or inaccessible due to the disaster
  • Your home is not covered by insurance, or your insurance does not cover all your damage
  • You were occupying your home as your primary residence at the time of the disaster

You may NOT be eligible if:

  • You have other, adequate, rent-free housing available
  • You refused assistance from your insurance
  • You were required to maintain flood insurance after a previous disaster, but did not do so

Common issues that can cause FEMA to deny a homeowner’s claim include proving ownership and proving that the disaster has caused so much damage to the home that it is not currently habitable.

If FEMA denies your application for assistance or does not grant you enough money for your needs, you have 60 days to appeal. You can appeal on your own, or Legal Aid NC or another attorney can help you with your appeal.