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Posted on: October 19, 2021

FEMA: New York IDA Recovery Update

FEMA has approved more than $100 million for individuals and families affected by Hurricane Ida in New York.

The Disaster Recovery Center at Yonkers Library closes permanently at 6 p.m. today. Residents affected by Hurricane Ida can still get in-person help with their FEMA applications at one of the eight other recovery centers around New York. It is not necessary to visit a center to apply. To find a recovery center near you, visit DRC Locator (fema.gov).

All FEMA personnel and contractors who work with FEMA carry an official photo ID. A FEMA hat or shirt is not proof that someone represents the agency. In addition, legitimate representatives of FEMA and its contractors will be able to provide the first four digits of your nine-digit application number. If you believe you may be a victim of fraud or identity theft, report it to your local police or sheriff’s department. You may also contact the FEMA Fraud Investigations and Inspections Division at 866-223-0814 or email StopFEMAFraud@fema.dhs.gov.

It may take up to 14 days for a FEMA inspector to contact an applicant for disaster assistance. FEMA uses many methods to verify losses including on-site inspections, geospatial inspection, and/or documentation. The inspector may reach the applicant by phone, text or email, and the phone number may come from an unfamiliar area code. Returning the inspector’s call, text or email promptly will help expedite the disaster assistance process. You can verify you have a pending inspection by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or video relay service (VRS). You can also visit DisasterAssistance.gov and select “Review Status.”

FEMA Individual Assistance

Q: What criteria do you use to determine whether someone is approved or denied for assistance?

A:  FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program provides financial assistance and direct services to eligible homeowners and renters who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs. Individual Assistance is not a substitute for insurance and cannot compensate for all losses caused by a disaster; it is intended to meet basic needs. Each type of IHP assistance has specific conditions and documentation requirements. Once someone applies for assistance, FEMA is required to verify losses to determine the applicant’s eligibility for IHP assistance.

Q. I live in New York but I’m not a U.S. citizen. Can I still receive FEMA help for damage from Hurricane Ida?

A: If you live in a county that was designated for assistance under the federal disaster declaration but you are not a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible for FEMA disaster assistance. To be considered, you must be one of the following: permanent resident (Green Card holder), granted asylum, refugee, alien whose deportation status is being withheld, alien paroled into the United States for at least one year, alien granted conditional entry, Cuban/Haitian entrant, or alien subjected to extreme cruelty or severe forms of human trafficking including those with “T” or “U” visas. A parent or guardian of a child under 18 who is a citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien may apply on the child’s behalf. No information will be required on the adult’s immigration status. Call the FEMA Helpline or visit the nearest Disaster Recovery Center for help in determining eligibility. Your status will not be jeopardized by requesting FEMA assistance. 

Q. Why did my neighbor get a different amount of FEMA assistance than my family?

A: FEMA works with each household on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility and appropriate assistance. Each individual or household need is different. FEMA assistance is not a substitute for insurance. Survivors are encouraged to contact their insurance provider first to see what is covered as FEMA will not provide grants for benefits already covered by other sources.

Q. I’m worried about having an inspector visit my house because of Covid. What should I do?

A: To effectively and safely deliver assistance in the COVID environment, FEMA is conducting exterior and, in some cases, remote inspections. For the exterior inspection, the inspector will validate damage based on the exterior and by guiding the applicant through a series of questions. When an exterior inspection is scheduled, the applicant will meet the inspector outdoors following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The applicant must provide a photo ID. The inspector will not enter the home.

Disaster Recovery Centers

Open daily 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Orangetown Soccer Club Complex, 175 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962.

Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday; closed Sundays:

o    Hostos College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

o    Queens College, 152-45 Melbourne Ave., Queens, NY 11367

o    Medgar Evers College, 231 Crown St., Brooklyn, NY 11225

o    College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314

o    Michael J. Tully Park Physical Activity Center, 1801 Evergreen Ave., New Hyde Park, NY 11040

o    Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 NY-25A, Mount Sinai, NY 11766

o    Public Library, 136 Prospect Ave., Mamaroneck, NY 10543

    For official information on the New York recovery effort, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4615. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion2 and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fema.

Hurricane Ida DR-4615

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