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FEMA explains requirements to receive disaster relief funds

Posted: 6:20 PM, Apr 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-04 23:20:08Z

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is handing out grants as part of its disaster relief fund to help you out during this difficult time.

But not everyone who applies may be getting the cash.

"They're in a state of denial because if they read down the letter to the second or third paragraph we're asking maybe you forgot to sign it, maybe your insurance information isn't complete or wasn't included," said FEMA Spokesperson Darrell Habisch. "We need to know that information.We're not in the denial business. We don't want to deny anybody."

To date, more than $10.5-million have been delivered to residents in Nebraska. Grants usually range from $3,000 to $5,000 per household.

"That money is meant to help you get in to an apartment, get in to some type of hotel," Habisch said. "Everybody deserves a roof over their heads and a safe, sanitary environment."

So why are some people hearing their claims are denied? It's usually one of two things. You don't live in a county receiving assistance or you didn't fill out the form correctly.

"By law all of these little boxes have to be checked and they have to be correct," Habisch said. "If one of those boxes says it's not correct than we need to reach out to you and we need to get that answer. We want you to receive all of the assistance that you're eligible for."

If you still need to file an application head to disasterassistance.gov . Once on the site, click on Nebraska, or type in your address. It takes you to the application page and gives you the location of the closest FEMA Recovery Center to your house.

"It's your road to recovery," Habisch said. "We can help you with that. It's really a marathon, not a sprint."

So what do you need to do as part of the application? Well, you'll need to list the address of the home effected, description of the damage, insurance information, a way FEMA can get in contact with you and a social security number.

"It means one person, regardless of age, that has a social security number," Habisch said. "If you have one within that household, your house will be covered."

Don't forget FEMA relief is only for primary residences. Lakehomes and cabins won't be eligible.

"Maybe it's your vacation home," Habisch said. "Maybe it's your second home. That's not covered under FEMA regulations because it's your primary home we're concerned about. You need a place now for a safe, secure, sanitary environment."

But in the mean time, if you've been denied, it's not time to give up.

"Contact us," Habisch said. "Don't just turn your back. Let's find out what the problem is and what the issue is and let's move forward together."