Disaster recovery officials urge recipients of federal grants to use the money wisely.
Upon releasing the funds by direct deposit or check, the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent every recipient a letter providing important information about the grant and outlining how the money can be spent.
Disaster-related grants are for repairs, temporary housing and other approved disaster-related costs. New Jerseyans who have questions about their grants should call FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).
Housing funds may be used for:
● Repairs to return a home to a safe and functional condition – may include repairs to windows, doors, water and ventilation systems, or other structural parts of a home
● Replacement or rebuilding of a disaster-damaged home
● Reimbursement for lodging expenses directly related to the disaster – receipts for these
expenses will be requested if the house sustained damages.
● Rental assistance – applicants who must remain in temporary housing for a longer period
than the initial assistance grant covers may request more assistance until their home can
be occupied or other permanent housing arrangements can be made. Disaster-related grant recipients also must turn in proper receipts to receive further assistance.
Recipients of Other Needs Assistance may use the funds for:
● Personal property, specialized tools for employment, household items, appliances and vehicle repair or replacement
● Medical, dental and funeral expenses and moving expenses
Disaster-related grant recipients are required to sign a declaration and a release certifying that all funds will be spent on the expenses for which they are intended.
Applicants also should be sure to update their address and phone number information by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. or update your information online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Assistance is available in many languages. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service should call 800-621-3362.
If FEMA does not have the correct contact information, applicants may miss important letters or phone calls about their applications for assistance or payment status.
By law, FEMA grants, which are taxpayer dollars, cannot duplicate payments from other sources. For example, if a grant recipient receives an insurance settlement covering expenses already paid for by FEMA, those duplicated funds must be reimbursed to FEMA.