You Have Until Dec. 9 to Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

HONOLULU – The deadline to apply for federal disaster assistance has been extended another 30 days, meaning homeowners and renters with uninsured or underinsured damage to their property from the Maui wildfires have until Saturday, Dec. 9, to apply.

This is also the deadline for Maui’s homeowners, renters and businesses to apply to the U.S. Small Business Administration for a low-interest disaster loan for physical property damage.

“Registering with FEMA for Individual Assistance is the key that opens the door to many kinds of additional federal help, and we want to make sure everyone who is eligible for that aid has an opportunity to receive it,” said James Barros, Administrator of the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency.

“The complexity of this event and the diversity of the Maui community created some obstacles to getting all of the people who need help signed up for federal assistance,” he added. “So we’re grateful that FEMA extended the registration deadline.”

FEMA provides funds that are paid directly to eligible individuals and households. Housing Assistance may include rental assistance, lodging expenses reimbursement, home repair assistance, and replacement assistance. All are explained as follows:

  • Rental Assistance is financial assistance for homeowners and renters for temporary housing if the wildfires displaced you from your primary residence.
  • Lodging Expense Reimbursement is reimbursement for out-of-pocket temporary lodging expenses resulting from damage that made your primary residence unlivable. Eligible lodging expenses may include the cost of the room and associated taxes. 
  • Home Repair Assistance is financial assistance for homeowners to repair their primary residences, utilities servicing that home, and residential infrastructure leading to your fire-damaged property. 
  • Replacement Assistance is financial assistance for any homeowner whose primary home was destroyed by the fires, and it can be applied to the purchase of a new permanent residence.
  • Other Needs Assistance is financial assistance for other disaster-caused expenses and immediate essential needs. This assistance may include funds to replace personal property, moving and storage expenses, transportation assistance, funeral, medical, dental, childcare, and miscellaneous disaster-related items.

To apply for FEMA disaster assistance, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use a video relay service, captioned telephone service or another service, give FEMA your number for that service when you apply. Helpline operators are available from 1 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, and they speak many languages. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.

For an American Sign Language video on how to apply, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU7wzRjByhI&list=PL720Kw_OojlKOhtKG7HM_0n_kEawus6FC&index=6.

You may also visit any Disaster Recovery Center, where specialists can clarify information you have received from FEMA or other agencies. You can find a center here: DRC Locator (fema.gov)

The primary source of federal funding for long-term disaster recovery not covered by insurance is the Small Business Administration. SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters and businesses. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome an economic injury. 

SBA representatives are available at Disaster Recovery Centers and at the Business Recovery Centers on Maui, Oʻahu, Kauai and Hawaiʻi to help applicants apply for disaster loans. Business Recovery Centers on Kauai and Hawaiʻi will close Thursday, Nov. 9.

SBA applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at https://www.sba.gov/hawaii-wildfires. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information.

For people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or have a speech disability, dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services. Completed applications may also be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

For the latest information on the Maui wildfire recovery efforts, visit mauicounty.govmauirecovers.org and fema.gov/disaster/4724. Follow FEMA on social media: @FEMARegion9 and facebook.com/fema. You may also get disaster assistance information and download applications at sba.gov/hawaii-wildfires

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