JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) – More than $9.5 million in FEMA assistance has been approved for Mississippi residents affected by Hurricane Zeta last year.
On Thursday, FEMA released a report detailing the assistance that has been provided so far, along with advice for people who have received those funds. Other resources have also been made available to anyone who still needs help.
FEMA said as of Feb. 11, 2021, a total of 2,773 individuals and households have been approved for $9.77 million. Of this amount, $8.28 million was used to help people on housing assistance. An additional $1.49 million has been approved for other disaster-related needs. The Small Business Administration has also approved 449 applicants for disaster loans totaling $12.6 million, the statement said. An additional $10 million has also been paid out by the National Flood Insurance Program for 816 claims filed so far.
Mississippi homeowners and renters in George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Stone counties who suffered uninsured losses from Hurricane Zeta may be eligible for federal disaster assistance from FEMA . FEMA has programs that can provide financial assistance for temporary housing expenses, basic home repairs, and other essential disaster-related needs. The deadline to register is March 1, 2021.
You can register with FEMA in several ways:
- Visiting DisasterAssistance.gov
- Using the FEMA App for Mobile Devices
- Call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Multilingual operators are available. Toll-free numbers are open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight central time.
- By creating a Disaster Account with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov. Once an account is created and the application is submitted, you can upload the necessary documents online.
After you apply for Federal Disaster Assistance, it is important that FEMA can contact you. Make sure FEMA has your current contact information and be aware that phone calls from FEMA may appear to be from unidentified numbers. FEMA may call to get more information about your application or to conduct a remote home inspection so they can continue to process your application.
FEMA is committed to helping all eligible disaster survivors recover from Hurricane Zeta, including U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, and qualified aliens. To qualify for assistance from FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP), you or a member of your household must be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen, or qualified alien. If you do not meet the criteria for one of these three statuses, the household can still apply if another adult member of the household is a citizen or if the household has an eligible minor child.
Applicants for FEMA assistance will receive a letter from FEMA by mail or email. It is important to read it carefully as it will include the amount of any assistance FEMA may provide to you and information on the proper use of disaster relief funds. You may need to submit additional information for FEMA to continue processing your application.
Examples of missing documents may include proof of insurance coverage, settlement of insurance claims, proof of identity, proof of occupancy, proof of ownership, or proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.
If you have any questions about the letter, you can get answers by going online to DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
After applying for disaster assistance from FEMA, you may be referred to the SBA. Scroll down to learn more about SBA loans.
Disaster financial assistance is intended to help residents meet basic disaster-related needs. A letter explaining what the payment will be used for arrives once assistance is approved or within a day or two of payment by check or direct deposit. People who receive disaster funds should ensure they use the money only for approved purposes and keep receipts for up to three years documenting purchases made.
If applicants spend the payment for anything other than the purpose for which it is intended, they may be denied future disaster financial assistance. In some cases, FEMA may request that the money be returned.
Business owners, private non-profit organizations, landlords and tenants may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to help recover from losses not covered by insurance, subsidies or other services.
After applying for disaster assistance from FEMA, you may be referred to the SBA. It is important to submit an application as soon as possible. If your application is approved, you are not obligated to accept an SBA loan. But failure to return the application will disqualify you from further possible assistance from FEMA, such as disaster-related car repairs, clothing, household items, and other expenses.
For more information about SBA disaster loans, the loan application process, or for assistance completing the SBA application, visit the SBA’s secure website at sba.gov/disaster. Applicants may also call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email [email protected] for more information about SBA disaster assistance. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 800-877-8339.
Under the Major Disaster Declaration, FEMA is authorized to provide public assistance for debris removal, emergency response, and the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the disaster such as roads and bridges. , water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities and parks for the following counties: George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Perry, Stone and Wayne.
For advice on debris removal processes, residents should contact their local government.
FEMA has provided a list of resources on a variety of topics where people can seek additional help if they need it. These topics range from consumer services, such as price gouging and complaints, to finding licensed contractors. Services range from crisis counseling and unemployment assistance to legal services and healthcare resources, to name a few. Resources are also available for seniors, people with disabilities and veterans.
You can also 211 Where 888-636-4211 to find resources to meet unmet needs, including food, shelter, clothing, utilities, prescriptions, transportation, and other disaster-related assistance.
IRS Disaster Assistance: You may be eligible to deduct the loss or partial loss of your home, household goods, and motor vehicles from disaster damage on your federal income tax. Call the IRS Disaster Assistance Hotline: 866-562-5227 Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time. Visit the website at www.irs.gov/ or contact your tax advisor.
Submissions: Individuals wishing to contribute to Hurricane Zeta relief efforts may do so through the Mississippi Community Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, www.formississippi.org (click on the Donate button) or send a DONATION by SMS to (601) 258-6502.
A Disaster Legal Services hotline is available to help low-income residents with legal issues related to Hurricane Zeta recovery in Mississippi. To call 877-691-6185 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
After a claim, fraud can occur. Sometimes survivors who try to register with FEMA find that someone has already registered using their name. Scammers may contact survivors who have not registered with FEMA and attempt to obtain money or information. In these cases, it is likely that the survivor’s personal data has been compromised. FEMA and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) never charge for registration, home inspections, grants, disaster loan applications, or anything else.
If you have registered and wish to verify any correspondence you have received from FEMA, call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). If you suspect fraud, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office in 601-359-3680 or report it to your local police department.
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