How to apply for federal aid after the Texas winter storms

February 24, 2021   By Save On Energy Team

How to apply for federal aid after the Texas winter storms

Thousands of Texans are recovering from last week’s severe winter storm, which caused power outages, bursting water pipes, and water supply concerns across the state. Now, residents in more than 100 counties can apply for federal aid through FEMA.

FEMA’s federal aid for the winter storms includes assistance for temporary housing, home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured damages and losses, and more.

The Biden administration issued a major disaster declaration which included aid for 77 counties. Gov. Greg Abbott’s office announced federal aid would be extended to 31 more counties as well. You can see the full list of counties eligible for aid here.

Applications for assistance are open now and Texans have 60 days from the disaster declaration (issued Feb. 19) to apply. Here is what you need to know if you are looking for federal aid from the winter weather.

If you have insurance, you must first file a claim with your insurance company before applying for federal aid.

According to FEMA, it cannot duplicate coverage for losses that have already been covered by insurance. However, if your insurance does not or cannot cover all your household’s damage, you could be eligible for federal aid.

Before applying for assistance, Texans should do these three things:

  • Take photos of the damage to your home and/or belongings
  • Make a list of items that were damaged or lost because of the winter storm
  • Have an insurance determination letter, documents proving your ownership or occupancy, and proof of ID

And when you are ready to apply, you should have the following information available:

  • Your current phone number
  • Your address at the time of the storm and where you are staying now
  • Your Social Security number, if possible
  • Your list of damages and losses
  • If you are insured, the insurance policy number or the agent and company name

To apply for federal aid, visit www.disasterassistance.gov. After you apply, FEMA will review your application and decide if you are eligible to receive assistance.

For those without internet, you can register for aid by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY: 800-462-7585.

Businesses, homeowners, and renters could be eligible for low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Contact the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

For other ways to give or receive assistance to Texans in need, there are many mutual aid funds, food banks, and non-profits dedicated to disaster relief. Click here to see a list of organizations currently working in Texas.