The Federal Emergency Management Agency is committed to helping all eligible disaster survivors recover from Hurricane Ida. Eligible persons include U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals and qualified aliens.
To be potentially eligible for help under FEMA’s Individual or Household Program, applicants must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or qualified aliens. However, undocumented families with diverse immigration status only need one family member (including minor children) who is a U.S. citizen and has a Social Security number to apply. If the U.S. citizen household member is a minor child, the minor child must live with the parent or guardian applying on his or her behalf.
Applicants will be asked to sign a Declaration and Release Form stating that they are among the legally qualified applicants. If an individual is not qualified but has a minor child who is a U.S. citizen or a qualified resident residing within their household, that person can still apply for assistance on the child’s behalf, and no information regarding status will be gathered.
Qualified aliens are:
- Legal permanent residents (those with Green Cards);
- Those with refugee or asylum status;
- Those whose deportation has been withheld;
- Those on parole in the U.S. for at least one year for humanitarian purposes;
- Those with conditional entry;
- Those who are Cuban-Haitian entrants;
- Amerasian immigrants; and
- Those with petitions for relief based on battery or extreme cruelty by a family member.
Additional assistance may be available regardless of citizenship status. Other programs such as Crisis Counseling, Disaster Legal Services and other short-term, non-cash emergency assistance may be available regardless of citizenship status. Additionally, voluntary agencies provide help regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
All individuals, regardless of citizenship status, who are affected by a major disaster may be eligible for other non-monetary, in-kind emergency disaster-relief programs. These may include medical care, shelter, food and water. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for FEMA cash assistance or Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
People who don’t qualify for federal assistance may call the FEMA helpline at 800.621.3362 for referrals to voluntary agencies. Undocumented immigrants from households in which no one is eligible for cash assistance from FEMA may be eligible for programs run by the state, local or voluntary agencies. Assistance for eligible individuals and small businesses might include funds for temporary housing and necessary home repairs, individuals and households grants, disaster unemployment assistance, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration and other programs.