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Applying for FEMA assistance

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Old 10-10-2018, 02:15 PM
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Default Applying for FEMA assistance

My family remained safe and our home was spared major damage in Florence, we are certainly fortunate. 98% of our losses (outside of a lost dock) are covered under our flood and homeowners policies. I had not previously considered applying for FEMA assistance and we are not in financial need. Nevertheless, a number of folks have instructed me to file for FEMA assistance, leaving me feeling uneducated and torn. On one hand I certainly prefer that money going to those that need it the most. Yet, on the other, we have no doubt paid our share of federal taxes (part of which go to this program I assume).

Hopefully one of you can educate me as to what FEMA assistance covers and who should file for it.

Thanks for your consideration, CW
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:24 PM
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It covers basic repairs to a primary residence, and housing aid if you can't live there for some period of time. If you believe your insurance will make you whole ultimately, you will probably get little or nothing from them.

When I say basic repairs, they do mean basic. Not like it never happened, just so you can live there again and not in a cardboard box.

It maxes out at I think 35k not counting the living expenses, but you'd have to have serious damage to get that much out of them. Living expenses would be whatever they think a hotel/motel costs in your area.

And, not that you need me to say this, but they take any chicanery seriously. A few people around here were criminally charged, for example where landlords made claims for properties they weren't living in.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:40 PM
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I did the FEMA assistance thing after Sandy. We had flood insurance but heard to apply anyway. First Question on app was do you have flood insurance. probably answered that question a half dozen times before it was complete.
waited a few weeks for an inspector and he was more concerned about the flood height than anything else. A few weeks later he calls to tell me he completed his report and i will hear
from someone within a few days about payment. took exactly 10 minutes to get an email stating that because we have flood ins, we don't qualify for any assistance. I called him right back and he acted surprised to hear that news and was going to get to the bottom of it. I'm still waiting for his call.
My Mothers had cancelled her flood ins. the year before Sandy. FEMA did give here a few thousand, But the acceptance of payment came with the requirement to Obtain flood insurance.
This was my experience, Hope yours is better
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Island-Marine View Post
I did the FEMA assistance thing after Sandy. We had flood insurance but heard to apply anyway. First Question on app was do you have flood insurance. probably answered that question a half dozen times before it was complete.
waited a few weeks for an inspector and he was more concerned about the flood height than anything else. A few weeks later he calls to tell me he completed his report and i will hear
from someone within a few days about payment. took exactly 10 minutes to get an email stating that because we have flood ins, we don't qualify for any assistance. I called him right back and he acted surprised to hear that news and was going to get to the bottom of it. I'm still waiting for his call.
My Mothers had cancelled her flood ins. the year before Sandy. FEMA did give here a few thousand, But the acceptance of payment came with the requirement to Obtain flood insurance.
This was my experience, Hope yours is better
I got the same denial but I appealed it because I had roof damage which was below the threshold of my windstorm deductible. I was able to send them the denial letter from the homeowners policy. They then sent me $500 to "repair the damaged portion" of the roof. Of course I needed a new roof, but $500 was better than nothing.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:55 PM
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If your house is deemed livable then you will not get housing assistance . Misc expenses is complicated. I filled out an application which was denied before sun down or so it seemed. The inspector came to check for damages and since she was not allowed to go up on the roof, in the attic or in the crawl space to check for damages she determined my house was livable. Was told by that inspector that the purchase of my generator would qualify under misc. but needed to show her my receipt which I could not find at that moment. After she left I found the receipt and sent in an appeal letter but am not really expecting anything since I have heard from reliable sources that unless you are living off of social services then Fema will not allow you any assistance. Fema told me to apply for a loan and looks like I am qualified for that up to about 25,000 or so since my roof needs to be replaced along with my storage building and insulation in my crawl space. Only problem is I must buy all kinds of home insurance before they will lend me a dime. Pretty sure I will not be getting the loan since I am not about to pay some insurance company 4 to5 thousand each year for the rest of my life in order to insure a 100,000 dollar house.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:46 PM
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It seems very hit or miss my buddyís house floored and ruined hardwood floors threw the whole house hvac and suck all needed replacing they came and surveyed and told him he could get around 2000 dollars. Itís a joke yet if you live in a single wide that needs new floors and hvac you can revive in the double digit thousands or a new house. Itís basically if you work hard and do good you get nothing. If youíre in section 8 or employed you get everything.
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Old 10-10-2018, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by gillnetflounderman View Post
If your house is deemed livable then you will not get housing assistance . Misc expenses is complicated. I filled out an application which was denied before sun down or so it seemed. The inspector came to check for damages and since she was not allowed to go up on the roof, in the attic or in the crawl space to check for damages she determined my house was livable. Was told by that inspector that the purchase of my generator would qualify under misc. but needed to show her my receipt which I could not find at that moment. After she left I found the receipt and sent in an appeal letter but am not really expecting anything since I have heard from reliable sources that unless you are living off of social services then Fema will not allow you any assistance. Fema told me to apply for a loan and looks like I am qualified for that up to about 25,000 or so since my roof needs to be replaced along with my storage building and insulation in my crawl space. Only problem is I must buy all kinds of home insurance before they will lend me a dime. Pretty sure I will not be getting the loan since I am not about to pay some insurance company 4 to5 thousand each year for the rest of my life in order to insure a 100,000 dollar house.
You won't unless you do. These people will be in chaos for some time. I know people that didn't get living expenses, but then they did. But BTW, in Katrina they went after some people up to 10 years later to claw back money they later decided someone wasn't entitled to. If you live in a single wide and it blows away in a storm, and someone hands you $20k, odds are yo uare not the kind of person who can afford to pay that back 10 years on since you didn't put it in a mutual fund.

Be careful with applying for the disaster loan. After Sandy there were huge federal grants and then people were getting money funneled through the states to raise their houses (a lot of money, $100-500k) - but if they took the loan, that counted as "aid" and was subtracted from the federal aid. Didn't matter that it was a loan they must pay back. Those post-Sandy aid programs were not announced for a long time after the storm, in many cases after people's homes were fully repaired. I have no clue if that will happen with Florence or Michael but if it does, taking a loan you might not really need could compromise your ability to get aid that's provided. So if you have access to other kinds of credit or cash, I would not take the SBA loan just for the heck of it.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:13 PM
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Thanks for that advice Ron. The loan really does not appeal to me even if it is 2%
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:25 PM
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I remember back in 04 or 05 we needed some assistance from them. They reimbursed for food, tools for cleanup, and a few other things. It wasn't much but it helped at the time. A few people I knew after Irma applied(they needed it) and were turned down. We just settled with our insurance for Irma and I'm not sure it will be enough but after a year kinda tired of fighting. My one bit of advise is no more wood floors in the Hurricane areas.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:31 AM
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Finally got my final rejection notice from FEMA yesterday, Was pretty much what I was expecting since an individual that I trust told me that one had to be from a certain neighborhood to get assistance from this agency now days. They claim that I could not verify my damages and assume that an estimate from a roofing company along with a sales receipt from Tractor Supply was not good enough. Beginning to think that 95% of FEMA's budget goes to give certain individuals a job and the other 5% to help folks recover from disasters.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:10 AM
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FEMA paid for a portion of a generator ($400), tractor rental ($150 for a weekend) to clean up debris along with some food/Ice ($300) after Ike (can't remember the application process though...Sorry) . It came in very handy as we were without power for over 3 weeks......In the 3 weeks we burned over $600 in fuel alone. My wife works from home so had to have power for here during the day. I was running 2 generators. 1 for the house (Lights and a very small window A/C unit) and another for the well and septic (Ran the second one for a few hours a day so we could take showers, refill our water containers, and to let the Aerobic septic system pump down)

Praying for everyone that has been effected by the storm. I hope everything gets back to normal as soon as possible for you guys.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:05 AM
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Thanks for all of the replies, information and past experiences.
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Muddycreekrunner View Post
Itís a joke yet if you live in a single wide that needs new floors and hvac you can revive in the double digit thousands or a new house. Itís basically if you work hard and do good you get nothing. If youíre in section 8 or employed you get everything.

This applies to everything in America today. Sadly
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:39 PM
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Ummm, read this in the Carteret County news today and found it interesting. Its no wonder FEMA is running out of money for most of us average John Does.


EMERALD ISLE — The town plans to submit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency a request for about $45 million in reimbursement funds for damage caused by Hurricane Florence, $40 million of that to replace 2.2 million cubic yards of sand lost from the town’s 12-mile-long beach strand.

“That is a lot of money,” Town Manager Frank Rush said Tuesday night during a post-hurricane report he gave to residents and town commissioners at the board’s monthly session in the meeting room beside the police station on the north side of Highway 58.“We received $13 million (in reimbursement money for sand lost in hurricanes) Isabel, Ophelia and Irene. But we’ll put in the claim.”

The remaining $5 million included in the claim comes in part from a variety of damages, such as an estimated $900,000 for public facilities, $195,000 to buildings, $158,000 to park facilities and $517,000 for beach access walkways, sound access walkways and piers.

Then there are expenses, such as an estimated $2 million or more for debris removal.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:21 PM
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Emerald Isle should be embarrassed. There are people being kicked out of their homes all over the county, and EI want 45 mil for sand. Rediculous. One thing about Carteret County, money flows west definitely not east.
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:11 AM
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People like that don't get embarrassed. Find it hard to believe that working taxpayers must be the ones that end up paying for the private beaches of these people. I do not mind one bit giving people in real need a helping hand but do not like folks that make a living off of taxpayers a full time endeavor. Even worse are the people that will take what is set aside for the poor and end up putting it in their own bank account.
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:57 PM
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I have no idea what it’s costing but I am darn glad FEMA is attending to the removal of all the debris generated from the storm. I know it’s being done by contractors that they’ve hired but at least it’s getting done. I can’t believe I am complimenting a Federal agency but in this case they deserve it.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:31 PM
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Why FEMA if you have flood insurance.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:17 PM
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After Sandy, I contacted FEMA, they turned down my application, due to my having flood insurance, but a couple weeks later I got a check for two months of “housing assistance” at what they estimated my house would rent for. It was substantial. The next day I got a check for “transportation assistance “, they covered an old beater car that was completely flooded. Close to 10k overall. Worth applying. If they send you money and feel like you don’t need or deserve it, donate it to a family that does.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LBGuy View Post
After Sandy, I contacted FEMA, they turned down my application, due to my having flood insurance, but a couple weeks later I got a check for two months of “housing assistance” at what they estimated my house would rent for. It was substantial. The next day I got a check for “transportation assistance “, they covered an old beater car that was completely flooded. Close to 10k overall. Worth applying. If they send you money and feel like you don’t need or deserve it, donate it to a family that does.
Why did FEMA pay for a car? It's called comprehensive coverage.

Last edited by Shag; 10-22-2018 at 07:55 PM.
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