FEMA Offering Disaster Assistance Help System

August 18, 2005

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed an online Individual Assistance Center (IAC) to allow those who have registered for disaster assistance to look at their cases on the internet. The IAC is available on the agency’s home page at www.fema.gov.

“This new Individual Assistance Center is an excellent use of technology to give people another avenue to get information about their specific FEMA application”, said Michael Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response.

The release of the IAC follows on the heels of FEMA’s launch of an online registration application in fall 2004. That allowed individuals to register from any computer or at kiosks set up at Disaster Recovery Centers, temporary sites set up in disaster areas where individuals can meet face-to-face with recovery officials. Online registrations now account for approximately 10 percent of all registrations.

Applicants will be able to access the following information via the IAC:

* Eligibility status by category
* Amount of eligible assistance and when it was paid (if applicable)
* Applicant’s addresses and phone numbers currently on file
* Insurance information provided by the applicant
* Information requested from the applicant by FEMA
* A listing of written correspondence between the applicant and FEMA
* Referrals to other federal/state/voluntary agencies for assistance
* The status of any inspections conducted by FEMA.

Applicants will not be able to access:

* A copy of their completed disaster application
* Viewable copies of written correspondence between the applicant and FEMA
* Detailed inspection results/information
For answers to these questions, individuals should call the FEMA HELPLINE at 1-800-621-3362.

If individuals are having difficulties with the IAC or FEMA’s online registration process they should contact the Technical Assistance Desk at 1-800-745-0243.

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