DALLAS — As nearly a month has passed since the winter storm that left Texans without power and water, there are more details on eligibility requirements and regarding what the assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency may cover.
Many North Texas residents can receive FEMA assistance, including those in Dallas, Denton, Collin, Tarrant, Erath, Fannin, Parker and Johnson counties. Go here to see the full list of designated counties from FEMA.
Homeowners who had losses due to the winter storm in February can file a claim with FEMA for financial assistance.
Texans who do not have home insurance should apply for the FEMA Individual Assistance as soon as possible. Residents whose homes are insured should file insurance claims prior to applying with FEMA.
Only residents who live in a designated county can receive FEMA individual assistance.
If you live in a county that was not designated, you can still get public assistance, which is assistance to state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations to help in emergency work and repair. Counties shaded in orange on this map are eligible for public assistance.
Disaster assistance may include financial assistance for temporary lodging and home repairs, low-interest loans from the Small Business Association to cover uninsured property losses. There are also other programs to help.
For eligible homeowners and renters in a designated county, FEMA assistance may include:
Property: FEMA may assist with the repair of damage related to burst pipes as well as disaster-damaged heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, refrigerators and stoves.
- Other possible repairs that may be covered include:
- Disaster-related damage to electrical, plumbing or gas in the home.
- Leaks in a roof that damage ceilings and threaten electrical components.
- Disaster-damaged subfloor in essential occupied parts of the home, and
- Disaster-related broken windows.
Lodging Expense Reimbursement: DR-4586-TX only. FEMA says that survivors who incurred uninsured lodging expenses due to utility outages only and did not have disaster-related damage to their homes may now be eligible for reimbursement. The standard period is from Feb. 11- Feb. 28.
Rental Assistance: Funds to rent alternative housing for applicants whose homes were made uninhabitable by the disaster.
Personal Property Assistance: Funds for applicants to repair or replace essential uninsured disaster-damaged personal property, including property damaged by burst pipes.
Miscellaneous Items: Funds for certain items purchased due to the disaster. Reimbursement for generators is limited to a generator purchased during the event by the applicant to power medically required equipment after a utility outage.
Transportation Assistance: Funds for primary vehicles damaged by the disaster, including damage from fallen trees, power lines or vehicle accidents caused by unsafe driving conditions.
Medical and Dental Assistance: Funds for uninsured medical and dental needs or losses caused by the disaster, such as medically required items damaged by burst pipes or medical treatment needed due to exposure to below freezing temperatures.
Child Care Assistance: FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program can reimburse costs for childcare as a result of a household’s increased financial burden to care for children aged 13 and younger and/or children up to age 21 with a disability who need assistance with activities with daily living as defined by federal law.
How do I apply?
Go to https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4586 and select "apply for assistance."
During the application process, select the cause of damage as snow/ice.
If you have insurance and are applying for disaster assistance, you must file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If insurance does not cover all your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance.
FEMA’s Individual and Household Assistance program is not a substitute for insurance and may not pay for all losses caused by a disaster.
If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT daily. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.
When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:
- A current phone number where you can be contacted.
- Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying.
- Your Social Security number, if available.
- A general list of damage and losses.
- If insured, the insurance policy number, and the agent or company name.
Once you apply, you will receive notification letters from FEMA either by mail or by electronic correspondence. You may need to verify your identity or complete a home inspection, FEMA says.
FEMA can't reimburse you for food lost during a power failure, however, there are volunteer organizations in your community that may be able to help.
Call 211. Volunteer organizations across Texas may have programs or additional resources to assist you if you have immediate needs.
What about energy or utility bills?
FEMA doesn't help with energy or other utility bills. Residents who need assistance are encouraged to contact their utility company for payment plans or deferred payment options.
FEMA doesn't cover insurance deductibles. However, when insured disaster-caused damage is less than the deductible, FEMA may provide assistance to help with the applicant's needs. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by your insurance you must provide FEMA with the information from your insurance claim to determine eligibility for assistance from FEMA.