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Who Should File A FEMA Claim and How To Do So

Residents in 37 Florida counties are eligible to file for individual disaster aid from FEMA, as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Hurricane Irma victims in the Tampa Bay area may be able to get some extra help from the federal government.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved disaster relief aid for the state of Florida - with even more money available for residents in counties covered in an order signed by President Donald Trump this past weekend.

The individual assistance is available to people in 37 counties, as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

That list includes Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto and Charlotte counties. The full list of counties can be found here.

WUSF's Stephanie Colombini spoke with FEMA spokesman John Mills about how residents can start the process of applying.

People who suffered damage and want to apply for assistance can visit Disasterassistance.gov or call one of the following numbers:

  • 1‑800‑621‑FEMA (1‑800‑621‑3362)
  • TTY 1‑800‑462‑7585
  • 711 or VRS 1‑800‑621‑3362

Disaster Survivor Information Checklist (courtesy DisasterAssistance.gov)

  • Before you start your application, please have the information below and a pen and paper ready.

    Social Security Number

    You, another adult member or minor child in your household must have a Social Security number. You or they must also be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

    If you don't have a Social Security number, read the article How do I apply for a new or replacement Social Security number card. You will get instructions on what to do and what documents you will need.

    Once you have your number, you may come back to DisasterAssistance.gov or call FEMA at one of the phone numbers above to apply.

    Insurance Information

    Describe the type(s) of insurance coverage you have. This could include coverage under policies like homeowners, flood, automobile, or mobile home insurance.

    Damage Information

    Describe the damage caused by the disaster. Include the type of disaster (like flood, hurricane, or earthquake) and the type of dwelling or vehicle (like a condo, mobile home or house, or a car or truck).

    Financial Information

    Provide your total annual household income, before taxes, at the time of the disaster.

    Contact Information

    Provide the address and phone number of the property where the damage occurred and the address and phone number of where we can reach you now.

    Direct Deposit Information (optional)

    If approved, we can deposit your funds directly into your bank account. You just need to provide the following banking information:

    • Bank name
    • Type of account (like checking or savings)
    • Routing number
    • Account number

    NEED HELP? If you need help with the application, please call FEMA at one of the phone numbers above.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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