Texans Who Filed Insurance Claims for May-June Storm Damage Should Register with FEMA

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Somervell County crews responded to “ground zero” with equipment and manpower hours after Hood County was struck by a tornado on May 15.

AUSTIN, Texas – If you are among the thousands of Texans who filed insurance claims for damage related to the May 4 to June 22 storms, you may be eligible for additional state-federal assistance. The key is to register with FEMA before the Aug. 27 deadline. Filing a claim under FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program is different than registering for a FEMA disaster assistance grant.

FEMA may be able to help you with uninsured or underinsured losses or if your insurance settlement is delayed. Be sure to document your situation and gather insurance company documents that can be included when you talk with FEMA after registering.

Have you received the maximum settlement from your insurance and still have unmet disaster-related needs? You may be eligible for a grant.

For example, if you have exhausted the maximum settlement from your insurance for Additional Living Expenses (ALE for loss of use) and still need help from FEMA with temporary housing, you should document your need and assemble paperwork that shows use of ALE from insurance.

While FEMA cannot duplicate benefits covered by your insurance or other sources, you may also be eligible for emergency home repairs, disaster-related medical, dental and funeral costs and other disaster-related expenses.

Has a decision on your insurance settlement been delayed longer than 30 days from the time you filed your claim? Be sure to let FEMA know and have ready any documents from your insurance company to show that you filed a claim. If the claim was filed over the telephone, include the claim number, date applied, and an estimate of how long it will take for you to receive your settlement. Any help from FEMA would be considered an advance and would have to be repaid to FEMA when your insurance settlement is received.

You can apply for FEMA assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 toll free from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) daily until further notice. Multilingual operators are available.

Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.

Applying for an SBA low-interest disaster loan is part of federal disaster assistance. Many people who apply to FEMA are automatically referred for a low-interest disaster assistance loan. Survivors should complete SBA loan applications so they can be considered for all available disaster assistance.

For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4223, Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website, www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem.