The programs that FEMA coordinates under IA include: Mass Care and Emergency Assistance (MC/EA), Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP), Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA), Disaster Legal Services (DLS), Disaster Case Management (DCM), and Individuals and Households Program (IHP). Each program has its own types of services and delivery; see specific Fact Sheet for more information. FEMA provides 100% of IA program costs, minus ONA and TSA costs which are covered at 75% federal cost share.
There are six factors that require assessment and evaluation prior to an IA declaration approval, outlined in 44 CFR Part 206.48. Eligibility for Federal assistance is based on each applicant’s individual circumstances as they relate to each program’s conditions of eligibility. Not all applicants will be eligible for all forms of Federal assistance. For more information, visit https://www.fema.gov/individual-assistance-declaration-factors.
Any individual that lives in an area (County, City, township etc.) that has been included in a declaration request by the State’s Governor or Tribal Chief Executive, and approved by the President. SLTT government, certain types of Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations and Faith based organizations may also be eligible to receive funds to support individual survivors.
Each program has its own eligibility process and guidelines, with a different set of triggers for implementation for each. The application submitted by the applicant must have all requested information provided, such as name and SSN of the primary applicant, current and pre-disaster address, current contact information, types of insurance held by the household, banking information for direct deposit of financial assistance, if requested, etc. Once registered, FEMA is required to verify losses to determine eligibility for IHP assistance using multiple methods such as on-site, geospatial inspection and/or documentation received.
Disaster survivors may need to provide documentation to help FEMA evaluate their eligibility, such as documents pertaining to proof of occupancy, ownership, income loss, and/or information concerning an applicant’s housing situation prior to the disaster. Insurance policies are to be validated prior to the release of any funding.
Once the Individual Assistance declaration is approved, the counties/jurisdictions affected are notified via the state or territorial/tribal government’s release of information procedure. The message is then disseminated from the local government/tribes into the communities and provide details on how to register.
The individual(s) have 60 days from the date of Individual Assistance declaration to register for assistance. FEMA may extend the registration period when the state or territorial/tribal government requests more time to collect registrations from the affected population. If the registration deadline is missed, FEMA will accept late registrations for an additional 60 days with a letter detailing the extenuating circumstances from the applicant with accompanying documentation, if applicable.
Disaster survivors can apply via the internet at https://www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone by downloading the FEMA application from https://www.fema.gov or through Apple/GooglePlay app store on their phone/tablet. Impacted individuals can also call the toll-free helpline, 1-800-621-3362 to register for assistance or check on their application that has already been submitted. If a temporary Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is set up within the affected community, FEMA staff will be available to help survivors register for assistance or application inquiry. FEMA may also send staff, or Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) Teams, into the communities to help those in need apply for IHP assistance, and would be equipped with computers or similar devices to assist in the registration and/or provide them with referrals to other resources.