Orange County has received an Individual Assistance disaster declaration. This will allow Chelsea residents to apply for financial assistance for certain losses.
To apply for disaster assistance under the Individual Assistance declaration download an application at:
www.DisasterAssistance.gov. You can also call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362.
There is a FEMA office open at the Williamstown Public Safety Building at 249 Meadow Street, from 9 AM-5PM seven days a week until further notice.
Disaster Survivor Assistance teams from FEMA will also be visiting those who reported their damage to 2-1-1. They will show you official FEMA photo identification to prove their identity, do not let anyone in your home who does not show proper credentials if you don’t know them.
What is covered by FEMA?
- Rental assistance
- Lodging expense reimbursement
- Home repair
- Home replacement
- Direct housing
- Loss of personal property including, but not limited to
- Furnishings, appliances, essential tools, and assistive equipment that supports daily living activities.
- Medical and Dental services that were necessary because of the storm.
- Funeral expenses
- Child Care costs incurred as a result of the disaster.
- Repair or replacement of vehicles
- Moving and storage expenses
- Cleaning and removal of contaminants
- Other critical needs for those who are displaced for their primary dwelling.
- Non-monetary services:
- Crisis counseling
- Disaster unemployment
- Disaster Legal Services
- Disaster Case Management
Eligibility Criteria for Housing and Other Needs Assistance:
- Your disaster losses must be in a Presidentially declared disaster area;
- A member of your household must be a United States citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien;
- You have necessary expenses or serious needs as a result of the disaster that are not covered by insurance, or you filed an insurance claim but your benefits are not enough to cover your expenses, or your damage was not covered by insurance or other sources.
Here are the key steps to filing a claim with FEMA:
1.) Damaged property must be in a federally declared disaster area
- Orange county has been declared.
2.) File a claim with your insurance company as well
- Failure to report property damage to your insurance company can affect your eligibility for federal assistance from FEMA.
- FEMA does not cover insurance deductibles.
- FEMA cannot help pay for anything that your insurance will cover.
3.) Prepare necessary information for the application process
- You will need:
- Social Security Number
- Address of property that was damaged
- Current address (where you are living in the interim)
- Current/working phone number
- Property insurance information (carrier, policy number, etc.)
- Total household income
- Routing and account information for checking/savings account
- Description of disaster-related damages and losses
- Upon completion, you will be given a FEMA claim number, write this down or store it safely (in your phone) as it will make future interactions easier.
5.) Check the status of your FEMA application
- By using the same method you applied with – online or by phone – within 24 hours
- FEMA will mail you a copy of your application along with a detailed guide that walks you through the assistance process.
- If you have an e-mail account you can log onto DisasterAssistance.gov and click on “Check Your Status.”
6.) A FEMA Inspector will contact you within 10-14 days
- The inspector will to set up a time to visit your property and inspect the damage.
- FEMA home inspections have no fee.
- You must be physically present at the time of the inspection.
- You must be able to provide the inspector proof of ownership and occupancy.
7.) The FEMA inspector will then submit the report to FEMA
- Reviews of inspections take about 10 days.
8.) If you qualify, a check will be sent by mail, or the money will be transferred into your checking/savings account along with a letter explaining how you are to use the funds
- FEMA funds are tax-free and do not have to be repaid.
- Amount of assistance relies on how much damage your state has reported among other factors.