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Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
7667 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 925-7500

FEMA's Individual Assistance (IA)

FEMA and other federal, state, local and volunteer agencies offer disaster assistance in several forms:

Low-Interest Loans. Most, but not all, federal assistance is in the form of low interest loans to cover expenses not covered by state or local programs, or private insurance. People who do not qualify for loans may be able to apply for a cash grant. If you qualify, your check will be issued in about three weeks.

The Farm Service Agency (FmHA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), offer low interest loans to eligible individuals, farmers and businesses to repair or replace damaged property and personal belongings not covered by insurance.

Cash Grants for up to $13,400 adjusted (annually for inflation). Individuals who do not qualify for a loan from SBA may be eligible for these grants from FEMA and the state to help recover uninsured property losses. Home inspections are normally conducted before a check is issued. FEMA funds 75% of the grant program's eligible costs with the remaining 25% covered by the state. The state administers the program.

Housing Assistance. FEMA's Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHA) makes funds and temporary housing available to individuals whose home is unlivable because of a disaster.

Veterans Benefits. The Department of Veterans' Affairs provides death benefits, pensions, insurance settlements and adjustments to home mortgages for veterans.

Tax Refunds. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows certain casualty losses to be deducted on Federal income tax returns for the year of the loss or through an immediate amendment to the previous year's return.

Unemployment Benefits. Unemployment benefits may be available through the state unemployment office and supported by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Crisis Counseling. Local and state health agencies, the American Red Cross, as well as churches and synagogues may offer counseling to people who have experienced a disaster.

Free Legal Counseling. The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, through an agreement with FEMA, provides free legal advice for low-income individuals regarding cases that will not produce a fee (i.e., those cases where attorneys are paid part of the settlement which is awarded by the court). Cases that may generate a fee are turned over to the local lawyer referral service.

Independent Study Programs. FEMA offers an Independent Study Program through the Emergency Management Institute.

Individuals, families and businesses may be eligible for federal assistance if they live, own a business, or work in a county declared a Major Disaster Area, incur sufficient property damage or loss, and, depending on the type of assistance, do not have the insurance or other resources to meet their needs.
 Related Information
News/Media Index
Public Assistance Forms Index - Forms & worksheets
Winds - Gable End Roof Framing
Preparing Your Home For A Hurricane
Parish Contact Numbers
Grants Index

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  2009 Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness
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