September 17, 2021

FEMA Denies Tornado Aid for Minneapolis

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied individual aid to individuals who suffered property damage in the May, 22, 2011 tornado in Minneapolis. When does FEMA grant individual aid? What does individual aid cover? What doesn’t it cover?

FEMA Denies Tornado Aid for Minneapolis

* FEMA aid replaces items not covered by home owner’s insurance and flood insurance. This includes aid to replace personal vehicles, medical expenses and personal possessions.

* FEMA aid is given if the grants are required to rebuild an area and help it recover. Poor areas without sufficient local charities to meet the needs of survivors get priority from the limited FEMA budget. Wealthier areas with more charitable backing and local emergency budgets receive little to nothing.

* Individuals with insurance must first file an insurance claim before FEMA will grant individual aid. FEMA will then issue aid if warranted for expenses and repairs insurance will not cover. Repairs to a home to make it livable for someone who does not have home owner’s insurance or whose home owner’s insurance does not cover water damage can receive individual aid. A vacation home will not be covered. Flood damage from a sudden storm can require a replacement vehicle to get to and from work. Extra cars, recreational vehicles and ATVs will not be considered in requests for aid. Medical bills must first be submitted for health insurance coverage before the remainder can be filed under individual aid.

* When a disaster area is declared, aid becomes available. Individuals must live in the affected area to receive individual aid. The claim for individual aid must be tied to an address in the affected area. This will be verified during the inspection.

* Keep receipts of your expenses. These receipts are required to prove how the money was used or to receive individual aid for expenses already incurred. Disaster related expenses are covered. Retain records that prove that the expenses were related to the disaster because audits can go back up to three years after the incident.

* Disaster loans are available to businesses located in the area. If someone has both a home and a business in the affected area, they can file for both a disaster assistance loan and individual aid. However, individual aid cannot be used to start a new business.”

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