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9/6 FEMA Updates

**Even though it’s still early in the disaster, survivors only have until October 28, 2021 to register for federal disaster assistance**

Update to Lodging Expense Reimbursement (LER): this type of financial assistance is to reimburse survivors who incurred out of pocket temporary lodging expenses due to damages that affects the habitability of their primary residence as a result of Hurricane Ida or is inaccessible (evacuations, etc.). Eligible lodging expenses may include the cost of the room and taxes charged by a hotel or other lodging provider. This does not count towards the financial Housing Assistance max grant an applicant may receive. FEMA has now extended the eligibility period of assistance from 7 days to 30 days from the approved date of any initial rental assistance award for DR-4611. In addition, FEMA has waived the following requirements for survivors to : (1) show proof of utility or extended utility outages; (3) to show proof or verification of inaccessibility to the primary residence. For survivors with no home damage and only utilities outages, FEMA has waived the condition of eligibility requiring home damages with habitability repairs. Applicants may be eligible for this assistance if:

  1. The disaster-affected individual registered with FEMA for assistance

  2. The applicant passes identify verification

  3. The pre-disaster primary residence is located within the 25 parishes declared for IA under DR-4611 and occupancy is verified

  4. The pre-disaster primary residence is not habitable or inaccessible or affected by an extended disaster-caused utility outage

    • this criteria has already been met through utility outage and inaccessibility data provided by the State of Louisiana in their request for LER extension

  5. The applicant incurred temporary lodging expenses on or after the incident period start date of 8/26/21

  6. The applicant is not covered by insurance to include Additional Living Expenses, Loss of Use, etc. or has insufficient insurance coverage to meet their temporary lodging needs

  7. The applicant has not received lodging assistance from any other source

Clean and Sanitize Assistance (CSA): this type of financial assistance falls under FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance (ONA) and is a one-time fixed amount of $300 per household – owners and renters. This is to assist applicants who have disaster caused real property damages that did not cause the home to be not habitable.

Expedited Rental Assistance for Applicants with Flood Insurance with Flood Damages Only: during the registration intake, if a survivor reports they have only flood related damages and have flood insurance that will cover their disaster caused damages

  1. FEMA will award two months of initial rental assistance to these survivors instead of issuing an inspection

  2. These survivors may also be eligible for continued rental assistance once they have exhausted their initial rental assistance

  3. Once an applicant submits their insurance settlement or denial letter from their flood insurance, an inspection may then be issued

  4. Survivors who have flood and homeowners insurance will not receive an inspection if they have a cause of damage listed that is covered by homeowners insurance

    • These survivors will receive a letter that states they are ineligible due to insurance and must submit the information to FEMA before an inspection can be issued

Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) updates:

  1. Eligible expenses under TSA – Lodging rate, hotel taxes and non-refundable pet fee (this is because this fee is returned back to the survivor at checkout)

  2. Non-Eligible expenses under TSA – food, room service, laundry, parking, telephone, internet and other charges

If you're an NFIP policyholder & have flood damage from Hurricane Ida, contact your flood insurance company to start a claim now. If you don’t know who your flood insurance agent or carrier is, call 1-877-336-2627. More information can be found at:

**Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) is a program where FEMA contractors makes direct payments to participating hotels, motels, etc. and is NOT awarded to the survivor, WHERE, Lodging Expense Reimbursement is a program that does pay and reimburses survivors for out of pocket expenses paid by the applicant because the home is either not habitable, inaccessible (due to mandatory evacuations, etc.). ***AirBnB is not a TSA participating lodging option. Survivors should not attempt to visit an AirBnB, but instead go to a TSA participating hotel. These can be found by visiting Transitional Sheltering Assistance Hotel Locator

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