FEMA Disaster Assistance for the Immigrant community

From the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:

Here is a link to frequently asked questions on status, who qualifies, and what they qualify for: http://www.fema.gov/disaster-assistance-frequently-asked-questions#citizen1. It also has answers to other questions such as how to file and what to do if you are denied. The information regarding status is also copied below.

Citizenship:
What are FEMA’s citizenship/immigration requirements?

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National, or a Qualified Alien in order to be eligible for FEMA cash assistance programs: Individuals and Households Program Assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
  • A Qualified Alien includes anyone with legal permanent residence (green card).
  • You will be asked to sign a Declaration and Release (FEMA Form 90-69 B) that you are a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National, or a Qualified Alien.
  • If you cannot sign the Declaration and Release, another adult household member who is eligible can sign it and no information regarding your status will be gathered.
  • If you cannot sign the Declaration and Release but you have a minor child who is a U.S. Citizen or a Qualified Alien residing with you, you can apply for assistance on your child’s behalf and no information regarding your status will be gathered. You will be asked to sign a declaration that your child is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National, or a Qualified Alien.
  • You do not have to be a U.S. Citizen or a Qualified Alien for Crisis Counseling or Disaster Legal Services or for other short-term, non-cash emergency assistance.

If I am an undocumented immigrant, am I eligible for assistance for disaster-related needs?

  • Yes, you may be eligible under many different programs run by state and local agencies and voluntary agencies for various types of cash assistance. If I am an undocumented immigrant, am I eligible for any assistance from FEMA?
  • You may be eligible for short-term, non-cash, emergency aid provided by FEMA.
  • You will not be personally eligible for FEMA cash assistance programs (Individuals and Households Program Assistance); however, you may apply on behalf of your U.S. citizen child, or another adult household member may qualify the household for assistance.
  • Even if you or your family does not qualify for FEMA cash assistance (Individuals and Households Program Assistance), please call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY for hearing/speech-impaired) for information and to be referred to other programs that can assist you regardless of your immigration status.

If I am an undocumented immigrant, can I apply on behalf of my child who was born in the United States?

  • You can apply on behalf of your minor child (under 18 years of age) for FEMA cash assistance (Individuals and Households Program Assistance) if you live together.
  • You will not have to provide any information on your immigration status or sign any documents regarding your status.

Do I need a Social Security Number to register for FEMA cash assistance (Individual and Households Program Assistance)?

  • If you are applying on your minor child’s behalf, you should provide his/her Social Security Number.

If I have a Social Security Number, am I eligible for FEMA cash assistance (Individuals and Households Program Assistance) as a “Qualified Alien”?

  • Not necessarily, because having a Social Security Number does not automatically mean that you are a Qualified Alien. You may be legally present in the U.S. and have a Social Security Number, but not be a Qualified Alien.
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