August 29, 2017

The Texas Health and Human Services system is administering disaster assistance grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program and the Other Needs Assistance program can provide up to $33,000 to help repair private or household property damaged in a major disaster.

To qualify, you must live in a county declared a federal disaster by the president and must use all insurance benefits and any other help available from federal, state and local agencies. You must also meet the following the conditions:

  • You must apply for a Small Business Administration loan even if you do not own a business. SBA provides disaster loans to individuals and businesses who can afford to repay the loans. If your only expenses were disaster-related medical, dental or funeral bills, you don’t have to apply for an SBA loan.
  • You cannot get a grant if you refuse other assistance, such as an SBA loan.
  • If you have home, health, flood or car insurance, you must apply for settlements of your losses and keep records of the settlements.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen, a non-citizen national or a qualified alien in the U.S. If you or your spouse do not meet any of these conditions but your minor child does, then you may apply on their behalf.

Any head of a household, both homeowners and renters, in the declared disaster area may apply for a grant. The grant covers only disaster-related expenses and serious needs such as transportation, personal property and medical dental and funeral expenses. This includes furniture, clothing, some appliances and your car.

The grant doesn’t cover:

  • Business losses, including farm businesses or vehicles and tools used for self-employment
  • Outbuildings or improvements to property
  • Landscaping
  • Debts that existed before the disaster
  • Anything that is a luxury or not essential

Call 800-621-3362 to apply.

Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey will feel stress to varying degrees. It is a natural reaction to trauma or intense pressure in life. Mental Health Texas can help you find resources so you can manage and reduce stress.

Here are some basic tips:

  • Talk with someone
  • Move your body
  • Meditate and listen to music
  • Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and rest
  • Re-establish routines

If you can’t get the trauma out of your mind, find a mental health professional or a trusted faith-based or spiritual healer.

Signs a loved one needs help:

  • Disorientation or confusion and difficulty communicating thoughts
  • Inability to see or hear properly
  • Limited attention span and difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of becoming easily frustrated
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Frequent mood swings or continuous crying
  • Colds or flu-like symptoms
  • Reluctance to leave home
  • Fear of crowds, strangers or being alone
  • Increased use of illegal drugs, alcohol or prescription medication
  • Worsening of existing medical problems