Katrina Survivors Advised to Save Receipts

By: Source: FEMA
By: Source: FEMA

The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) would like to remind individuals, families and businesses in Mississippi whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance that they may be eligible to receive cash grants of up to $26,200 per individual or household.

When state and federal officials inspect a victim’s property for damages, providing receipts will help make an accurate determination of losses and ability to evaluate their eligibility.

The FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP) is intended for one of the following uses only: housing repairs, temporary housing, or other needs assistance including personal property. Some examples of assistance provided by the IHP program are:

  • Housing Assistance
  • Home repair cash grant
  • Permanent housing construction (in rare circumstances)
  • Lodging expenses reimbursement (for a hotel or motel)
  • Rental assistance (cash payment for a temporary rental unit or a manufactured home)
  • Other needs assistance
  • Medical, dental, funeral costs
  • Transportation costs
  • Other disaster-related needs

    Another important reminder for disaster victims is to take photographs of damaged property before it is repaired. After completing the work, applicants should then keep their receipts for three years.

    Every housing assistance request is treated individually, and each situation is different. After the applicant's information is reviewed by FEMA Human Services, a determination is made according to the applicant's need and the disaster assistance allowed by law.

    State and federal officials stress that it is important for housing funds to be used only for disaster-related damages or losses.

    To report fraud, waste or abuse in FEMA programs call the Fraud Hotline at 1-800-323-8603. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and all calls remain confidential. To report fraud via mail, write to: Department of Homeland Security, Attn: Office of Inspector General, Hotline, Washington, D.C. 20528.

    For all other questions, applicants can call the FEMA Helpline 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing-impaired.

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