Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

 

10100 General Criteria

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009

 

 

 

10110 Serious Need and Necessary Expense

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

 

The criteria of serious need and necessary expense are applied to all categories of grant assistance. Serious need for an item or service is present if the item or service is essential for an applicant to reduce or overcome a disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse condition. A necessary expense is the cost of the item or service. Grants are awarded either to fill serious needs or to reimburse applicants for necessary expenses already incurred.

"Serious need" and "necessary expense" are synonymous terms and imply that the grant program is intended to provide funds for essential items and services. It is not intended to fully indemnify disaster losses (that is, restore the recipient fully to pre-disaster condition), or to purchase items or services that may generally be characterized as nonessential, luxury, or decorative. For an item to be considered a “serious need” and deemed a “necessary expense,” the item must be eligible based on category-specific policy and have an acceptable verification of disaster-caused damages. In addition, federal regulations require grants to meet needs but prohibit the program from duplicating benefits. Essential items or services paid for by private insurance coverage or by other disaster assistance organizations must not be duplicated by grant funds. The terms "serious need" and "necessary expense" imply that all disaster losses are not covered by the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) provision of Individuals and Households Program (IHP) unless the loss creates a hardship. For example, if damage occurred to three bedrooms of furniture in a single-person household, ONA would pay only one bedroom allowance. Likewise, if an applicant owned two televisions and one was damaged and one not, ONA would not pay for the damaged unit. Although a television may be an essential appliance, the applicant has access to the second undamaged one and therefore, the replacement of the damaged television is not essential.

The maximum grant amount that may be awarded to an individual or family is limited by federal law. The 2002 Disaster Mitigation Act established a maximum grant, to be adjusted annually. Each federal fiscal year the maximum amount is adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index.

 

10120 Eligibility Test

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009

 

The worker applies the following eligibility test guidelines in making a grant determination:

  1. Is the item or service in an eligible category of assistance?
  2. Is the need for the item or service a direct result of the disaster?
  3. Is the item or service essential to the applicant in this particular instance; that is, is there a serious need for the item or service — is it a necessary expense?
  4. Is the applicant unable to meet the need for the item or service from another program or resource?

Example: The applicant claims that his vehicle was damaged by flood.

  1. Is transportation an eligible category of assistance?
  2. Is the need for vehicle repair a direct result of the disaster (and within the incidence period)?
  3. Is vehicle repair essential to the applicant's present situation? (Is there a serious need to repair this vehicle, or does he have a second, undamaged vehicle that would meet his transportation needs?)
  4. Is the applicant unable to meet the need for vehicle repair from another resource? (Has SBA declined a loan? Was there no insurance coverage that would cover essential repair expenses?)

 

10130 Duplication of Benefits

Revision 14-1; Effective January 31, 2014

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA's) National Processing Service Center (NPSC) operates as a clearinghouse for exchange of information on assistance provided to applicants by disaster aid programs and private insurance. This information is shared with programs to avoid duplicating disaster assistance benefits. Once ONA staff approve or deny a grant, the information is entered by ONA staff in FEMA's National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS) computer system. This enables FEMA to keep and share a complete record of disaster aid provided to all victims who have registered for assistance.

The ONA provision of IHP prevents duplication of benefits by deducting other assistance for a particular need or expense from the total serious need and necessary expenses amount. However, assistance from other means does not include the value of expendable items. As described in Section 2000, Definitions and Acronyms, expendable items are defined as linens, clothes and basic kitchenware (pots, pans, utensils, dinnerware, flatware, small kitchen appliances).

Assistance from other means includes, but is not limited to:

  • American Red Cross (ARC),
  • Housing Assistance provision of IHP,
  • National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP),
  • Small Business Administration (SBA), and
  • private insurance.

Exception

The ONA provision of IHP may award grants for the applicant's emergency needs if there is an unreasonable delay in receiving assistance from other services. If the applicant is awarded an ONA emergency grant, he must reimburse the department when assistance from another source is received. For example, if the applicant has insurance coverage that should meet his essential needs for repairs but the insurance company is bankrupt or in receivership, the settlement may be delayed for months. In this case, a grant may be provided with the condition that the applicant repay any portion of the grant that is later covered by the insurance settlement. (See Section 10210.2, Insurance Considerations.)

The following chart illustrates possible duplication of benefits by agencies participating in disaster assistance programs.

Duplication of Benefits
ONA Category Other Sources of Assistance
1. Personal Property
  1. Insurance – Contents settlement
  2. SBA – Personal property loan
  3. ARC – May provide clothing, furniture, appliances, work tools and medical equipment. Expendable items such as clothing and basic kitchenware (pots, pans, etc.) are not duplications.
2. Transportation
  1. Insurance – Settlement on vehicle
  2. SBA – Personal property/transportation loan
  3. ARC – May provide funds for vehicle repair
3. Medical/Dental
  1. Insurance
  2. ARC – May pay medical costs
4. Funeral
  1. Insurance
  2. ARC – May provide funds
5. Flood Insurance -
6. Moving and Storage
  1. Insurance
  2. SBA – Personal property loan
7. Child Care
  1. Insurance
  2. FEMA's Public Assistance Program
8. Other  

 

10200 Standard for Other Needs Assistance

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009

 

 

10210 Eligibility Criteria and Guidelines

Revision 05-1; Effective October 1, 2004

 

This section describes the overall eligibility criteria and guidelines HHSC will use to process the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) provision of the Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program (IHP) under the Stafford Act 42 U.S.C. 5174(e).

 

10210.1 Housing

Revision 05-1; Effective October 1, 2004

 

Under the provisions of the IHP:

  • Housing Assistance for repair/replacement of owner-occupied primary residences is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Housing Assistance is funded 100 percent by FEMA.
  • HHSC administers the ONA provision of the IHP. Funds for housing repair/replacement are not authorized to be paid by the state.

 

10210.2 Insurance Considerations

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009

 

During registration, the applicant reports any type(s) of insurance coverage. If the applicant has insurance to cover the losses incurred during the disaster, the application will not be referred to Other Needs until the applicant provides the necessary insurance documentation to FEMA that the settlement will be significantly delayed, denied or insufficient to meet his or her needs. (See exception in Item 10130, Duplication of Benefits.)

If an applicant has necessary expenses and serious needs not covered by insurance, they are referred to Other Needs even though they may have insurance for other necessary expenses and serious needs. Some categories also must be considered for the Small Business Administration (SBA) prior to being referred to Other Needs. For example, an applicant's residence is destroyed by a tornado. The applicant has homeowner's insurance, but does not have medical insurance. The application for medical assistance is routed for review, even though the applicant's homeowner's insurance or SBA loan may cover damage to the residence.

Insured applicants must exhaust all means of insurance coverage (for example, flood, homeowner's, medical, dental and funeral) up to the policy maximum or be denied additional compensation from their insurer to be considered for ONA assistance. Insurance coverage (and SBA loans) will limit ONA program grants by reducing the grant amount to avoid duplication of benefits. If there is a single cause of damage, the reduction is not based on a line item list; it is based only on the total FEMA verified loss, less the applicant's insurance award (including deductible). If there are multiple causes of damage (for example, flood and wind-driven rain) then line item payments must be considered to avoid duplication of benefits.

FEMA Verified Loss
– SBA Loan Amount
– Applicant's Insurance Award
– Applicant's Insurance Deductible 
= ONA Grant Award

 

10210.3 SBA Considerations

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009

 

Applicants must first apply for an SBA loan to be considered for ONA grant awards. SBA-approved partial loans will reduce ONA grants awarded to avoid duplication of benefits. FEMA will accept all SBA referrals. Applicants who are declined by SBA but not referred to ONA will not be considered for grant awards.

The categories for which SBA provides assistance, which could be duplicated by ONA, are: personal property, transportation needs resulting from damage to a vehicle, and moving and storage. These categories are known as "SBA dependant" and will not be reviewed by FEMA until SBA has referred them to FEMA.

The categories for which SBA does not provide assistance and are not duplicated by ONA are medical, dental, funeral and miscellaneous expenses. These categories are known as "non SBA dependent" and will be reviewed by FEMA for referral to ONA as soon as possible.

The income test: For SBA dependent categories, whether the applicant is immediately referred to SBA or Other Needs assistance depends on his or her ability to repay a low-interest loan. SBA provides FEMA with income test tables that determine if the applicant's income is sufficient to repay an SBA loan.

The income test is conducted on behalf of SBA for the mutual benefit of FEMA and SBA. If the applicant's income is below the amount SBA considers necessary to support a loan, the application is routed for review. An application whose income level is at or above the amount SBA considers necessary to support a loan is referred to SBA.

Self-employment: Applicants whose primary source of income is from self-employment and who sustain business losses are automatically referred to SBA. However, if an applicant fails the income test he or she will be referred to Other Needs assistance for non-business related expenses or serious needs.

Example: An applicant, when registering for assistance, says that he designs web pages as a contractor in his apartment. He states that he has extensive damage to both his computer equipment and his furniture in his bedroom. This applicant also reports that he needs to move and find another place to live. The applicant will be inspected for real and personal property damage by the inspector for non-business related losses. The inspector will not record his computer as an eligible expense. His income was below the income test; therefore, the application was referred to Other Needs assistance.

SBA may refer an applicant to ONA in one of the following ways:

  • Summary decline: After interviewing the applicant, an SBA representative determines that the applicant will be unable to repay a loan. The applicant receives an SBA "summary decline" and the application is routed to Other Needs assistance.
  • Formal decline: The applicant submits a formal loan application. If the loan is denied, SBA refers the application to Other Needs assistance.
  • Limited (partial) approval: The applicant submits a loan application and is approved for a loan. The amount of the loan is limited by the applicant's ability to repay, and the loan limit is less than the amount of damage verified by SBA. The application is referred to Other Needs assistance.

The NEMIS database is used to track an applicant's status with regard to SBA. When applications are entered into the NEMIS database, referrals to Other Needs assistance through the income test or through summary declines are electronically forwarded. If the applicant must complete an SBA loan application, this is recorded in the database, and the application is not forwarded to Other Needs assistance until SBA formally declines the application or provides a limited loan approval. FEMA will not conduct SBA policy reviews.

Refusal to apply for, or to accept, an SBA loan: If the applicant is referred to SBA through the income test but refuses to submit a loan application to SBA, the applicant is ineligible for assistance from ONA that is SBA dependent. Similarly, if an applicant refuses to accept an SBA loan or to accept the full amount of the loan, he or she is ineligible for SBA dependent ONA.

Late SBA applications: FEMA will accept applications to the IHP for 60 days after the declaration date, or for as long as applications are accepted. In some cases, the formal decline issued by SBA occurs after the application period has expired. If the applicant applied to SBA in a timely manner and was subsequently referred to Other Needs by SBA after the application period, FEMA will accept and process the application. SBA determines if it should accept an untimely loan application based on the circumstances involved. If SBA accepted the loan application, FEMA will subsequently accept and process an application for ONA.

 

10210.4 Processing Applications

Revision 07-1; Effective May 1, 2007

 

After an application has been taken, processing is determined by the needs of the applicant and his status with regard to insurance, SBA and ONA.

SBA status and inspections: An applicant with only personal property and/or transportation damage who has passed the income test will not receive a FEMA inspection. After the applicant is 1) formally denied by SBA, or 2) has received a loan from SBA that is insufficient to meet his necessary expenses and serious needs, an inspection will be conducted.

Once the applicant has received an SBA decline, and appropriate verification has been performed, the application is routed to ONA for processing.

Withdrawal from ONA: An application may be withdrawn from ONA as described below. In all cases, FEMA will notify the applicant by letter.

  • Voluntarily withdraw from all categories: the applicant may withdraw voluntarily from ONA, either in writing or by contacting FEMA or the state.
  • Voluntarily withdraw by category: the applicant determines that he or she does not need assistance for a specific category or type of assistance, but may need assistance in other categories. For example, an applicant determines that he or she does not require assistance with a medical expense, but still requires assistance with personal property needs.
  • Withdraw - no contact: The inspector has been unable to contact the applicant to arrange for an inspection. The applicant will be notified that his application will be withdrawn from consideration unless contact is made within 15 days.

Information Updates: NEMIS must be updated to reflect all actions taken regarding an application. These actions include, but are not limited to:

  • determinations of assistance (awards or denials) and award amounts,
  • payment information,
  • withdrawals,
  • supplemental award amounts,
  • application update information, such as changes of addresses and telephone numbers provided by the applicant,
  • SBA status,
  • recoupments, and
  • returned checks.

Note: When the state administers the ONA provisions of IHP, all mail correspondence will be FEMA's responsibility.

FEMA will retain all documents related to the application review and the eligibility determination for a period of three years after close-out to comply with FEMA manual records management file requirements.

 

10210.5 Verification

Revision 10-1; Effective May 10, 2010

Necessary expenses and serious needs are verified through on-site inspections or by using supporting documentation (for example, estimates, bills, receipts or written statements) submitted by the applicant. It should be noted verification does not require follow up via telephone calls to confirm the expense, unless the authenticity of the document is in question.

Handling of Original Documents

Normal eligibility case processing may require specific additional documents to complete the case. Those documents are to be sent from the applicant (either by mail or fax) directly to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Processing Service Center (NPSC) to be scanned into the applicant’s permanent file. The caseworker may then complete the case by viewing those documents in the FEMA National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS).

Only the Special Needs Unit and the Hearings Unit may request that applicants send documents directly to the Emergency Services Program office. The following are procedures for the handling of original documents from the applicant:

  1. Special Needs/Hearings caseworker receives original documents (either by mail or fax).
  2. Special Needs/Hearings caseworker then makes sure the applicant’s name and registration ID number are on each page, and faxes the documents to FEMA NPSC, using the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) Coversheet.
    *Note: The Coversheet is used so that an additional ONA work packet is not created in NEMIS.
  3. Special Needs/Hearings caseworker then makes a copy of the original documents and mails the original documents, including the ONA Coversheet, to FEMA NPSC using overnight delivery.
  4. Special Needs/Hearings caseworker checks the applicant’s case periodically to ensure that the original documents were received by NPSC and have been scanned into the applicant’s permanent file in NEMIS.
  5. Once it has been confirmed that the original documents have been received by NPSC and have been scanned into NEMIS, the Special Needs/Hearings caseworker may then shred the copies of the applicant’s original documents.

 

10210.6 General Conditions of Eligibility 

Revision 07-1; Effective May 1, 2007

 

To be eligible for ONA an applicant must fulfill all of the following conditions, in addition to any category-specific conditions.

An applicant must:

  • Have no, or insufficient, insurance coverage.
  • File an insurance claim, if applicable, and find that the settlement does not meet his or her other needs, related necessary expenses and serious needs.
  • Have the damages occur in the declared area and be directly associated with the disaster type with approved cause of damage.
  • Apply to all required government disaster programs (for example, SBA) for assistance and be determined unqualified for such assistance, or demonstrate that the assistance received does not satisfy the total necessary expense or serious need.
  • Certify to refund that part of the ONA award for which assistance from other means is received, or which is not spent on disaster-related serious needs and necessary expenses. This is verified when the applicant signs the registration form (FEMA Form 90-69B).
  • Meet the citizenship requirements set forth in 44 CFR. This is verified when the applicant signs the registration form (FEMA 90-69D).

 

10210.7 General Conditions for Denial

Revision 07-1; Effective May 1, 2007

 

An applicant may be denied for all or portions of ONA if any of the following conditions are true:

  • Received assistance from other means (such as insurance or SBA loan) for the specific necessary expense or serious need, or portion thereof, for which the application is made. Expendable items, such as clothing, food and blankets, are not considered a duplication of benefits.
  • Refused assistance from other means (such as SBA or insurance).
  • Has serious needs and necessary expenses met by insurance, SBA, voluntary organizations or other means.
  • Has insurance, for the specific category of assistance, but failed to file a claim.
  • Has unverified or unsubstantiated serious needs or necessary expenses.
  • Has damage solely related to a business, including farm businesses or self-employment (for example, equipment and lot revenues).
  • Requests improvements or additions to personal property to upgrade the size, quality or capacity of personal property owned before the disaster. New items necessary to replace those lost in a disaster are not considered improvements or additions.
  • Requests reimbursement for labor performed by the applicant or members of the applicant's household.
  • Requests reimbursement for financial obligations incurred before the disaster; previously owned debts, back taxes and unpaid utility bills are examples of the items that are considered ineligible pre-disaster financial obligations.
  • Requests assistance for spoiled food supplies.
  • Requests reimbursement for expenses that can be characterized as recreational, non-essential, luxury or decorative.
  • Requests assistance that duplicates assistance provided to other household members.
  • Has received the maximum allowable assistance under the program.
  • The Other Needs Assistance (ONA) Program does not cover the loss or damages to applicant property due to acts of vandalism, unless specifically stated in the State Administrative Plan or Federal-State Agreement. The applicant may want to contact the local law enforcement agency to see if any services are available.

 

10210.8 ONA Specific Guidelines

Revision 07-1; Effective May 1, 2007

 

A necessary expense or serious need is not restricted to an incurred loss. An applicant may have a need that is not a replacement of a lost or damaged item. The examples below illustrate this concept.

  • A disaster destroys the only laundromat in town and the owner has no intention of rebuilding. A family of seven, whose house was also damaged, depended on the laundromat before its destruction. A washer and dryer may be eligible for this family even though they did not own these items before the disaster. The item could be considered under miscellaneous expense assistance.
  • An applicant is injured during a disaster that causes her to be restricted to a hospital bed at home. The hospital bed may be eligible for assistance even though the applicant did not own one before the disaster. This applicant could be considered for medical assistance.
  • An applicant becomes unemployed due to disaster. He obtains a job requiring him to purchase tools and a uniform. Although the applicant did not own these items before the disaster, they could be considered for personal property assistance.

There may be daily, weekly or even monthly recurring costs. ONA will provide assistance for these recurring costs until the serious need or necessary expense is no longer required, or until the maximum award is exhausted, or the performance period ends (the performance period is 18 months after the disaster declaration). ONA will not provide assistance for normal recurring costs the applicant was responsible for before the disaster.

The cost of estimates and service calls is an eligible expense, when the applicant is subsequently determined eligible for the associated item or service.

ONA cannot award a grant amount for less than $50 unless FEMA Disaster Housing has previously made an award under Housing.

Example

The inspector records a single electric fan in an occupied bedroom. The line item cost for the fan is $25. The applicant will receive a check for $25 because they received rental assistance from FEMA, which made the amount over $50.

 

10210.9 Medical and Dental Guidelines

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

 

FEMA provides financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to individuals and households with medical or dental expenses caused by a disaster. Unlike most other forms of IHP assistance, an applicant seeking medical or dental assistance does not need to live in the presidentially declared disaster area to be considered for the assistance. Any person who incurs disaster-caused medical or dental expenses may apply for and, if eligible, receive medical or dental assistance.

 

Conditions of Eligibility

To receive an ONA award for medical or dental expenses, an applicant must submit a claim for insurance, if applicable, or for Medicaid or Medicare, and provide ONA with information regarding benefits received and or expected. The applicant must provide the medical enclosure statement if he or she does not have health insurance.

Medical or dental insurance settlements must be provided if the applicant has medical or dental insurance.

Note: Medicare (Parts A, B and D) does not cover most dental services, including dentures.  More information can be found on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov.

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility in Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility, applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive medical or dental assistance:

  • The medical or dental injury or expense must be a direct result of the disaster, as verified by a written and signed statement by the applicant, medical provider or dental provider. Eligible expenses include costs associated with:
    • Injury or illness caused by the disaster.
    • Pre-existing injury, disability or medical condition aggravated by the disaster.
    • Replacement of prescribed medication.
    • Loss or damage of personal medical or dental equipment.
    • Medical or dental insurance deductibles and co-payments for eligible expenses.
    • Loss or injury of a service animal.
  • Medical or dental expenses will not be eligible for FEMA reimbursement if they are covered by insurance or any other source.
  • Expenses related to the loss or injury of a service animal must be a direct result of the disaster. Eligible expenses may include costs associated with:
    • Veterinary expenses for disaster-caused injuries.
    • Replacement and/or training costs.
    • Lost or damaged equipment that enables the service animal to fulfill its function (e.g., specialized leash, harness or vest).

ADA defines a service dog as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people living with disabilities.” These tasks may include things like alerting people who are deaf, guiding people who are visually impaired, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during an anxiety attack, reminding someone to take prescription medications, or protecting a person who is experiencing a seizure. The ADA does not recognize dogs who solely provide emotional support or comfort as service animals. See https://www.servicedogcertifications.org/ada-service-dog-laws/.

Note: An ADA certified service animal is not the same as an emotional support animal. ONA does not cover any disaster-related illnesses, injuries or deaths to emotional support animals.

Mental health services will also be considered an eligible expense.

Mental health expenses can include:

  • Counseling sessions with a licensed provider (counselor) or medical provider (psychologist or psychiatrist);
  • Medication prescribed by a licensed medical provider (new or existing); and
  • Hospitalization (in/out patient facility).

 

Required Documentation for Mental Health Expenses

Disaster-caused exacerbation or onset of mental illness documentation includes both of the following:

  • Itemized bills, receipts or estimates from a licensed provider (counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist); and
  • A written and signed statement from a licensed provider explaining how the condition was exacerbated, including the date of the exacerbation and expenses necessary for recovery.

Example:

Ms. Johnson provides a note from her counselor, Ms. Smith, stating she sees Ms. Johnson twice a month for help with her anxiety, depression and stress. Ms. Smith writes that one week after the disaster struck, Ms. Johnson has needed to increase the number of visits necessary in order to proactively deal with the mounting stress and anxiety of losing her home. Ms. Smith indicates that Ms. Johnson will need to increase her sessions from twice a month to eight visits a month (roughly twice a week). As Ms. Johnson does not have insurance, each session costs $60 out of pocket. Ms. Smith states she expects this change to last approximately three months.

In the situation above, ONA would potentially be able to assist Ms. Johnson with her mental health expenses.


Required Documentation for Medical and Dental Expenses

Required documentation must indicate the expense was caused by the disaster, is medically required and includes the amount of the expense.

Disaster-caused injury or illness documentation includes both of the following:

  • Itemized bills, receipts or estimates from the licensed medical or dental provider or pharmacy; and
  • A written and signed statement from a licensed medical or dental provider, including the date of the disaster-caused injury and expenses necessary for recovery.

Medical or dental providers may include audiologists, rehabilitation specialists or state-based agencies who can verify an applicant’s disability and need for a device or equipment.
Replacement of prescribed medication documentation includes all of the following:

  • A written and signed statement by the applicant or the applicant’s medical or dental provider verifying the loss was caused by the disaster;
  • A written and signed statement from a medical or dental provider verifying the prescription is required and was previously prescribed to the applicant or a household member; and
  • Receipts or other verifiable documentation from the pharmacy showing the replacement cost of the prescribed medication.

Loss or damage of medical or dental equipment documentation includes all of the following:

  • A written and signed statement by the applicant or the medical or dental provider verifying the loss was caused by the disaster;
  • A written and signed statement from a medical or dental provider verifying the applicant or household member required the medical or dental equipment prior to the disaster; and
  • Itemized bills, receipts or estimates showing the repair or replacement cost of the medical or dental equipment.


Required documentation verifying the loss or injury of a service animal includes all of the following:

  • A written and signed statement by the applicant, medical provider or veterinary provider verifying the service animal’s loss or injury was caused by the disaster;
  • A written and signed statement from a medical provider verifying the applicant or household member required the service animal for a disability prior to the disaster;  
  • A statement from the applicant, medical provider or other representative explaining the type of task or work performed by the service animal; and
  • Itemized bills, receipts or estimates showing expenses related to the service animal’s loss or injury.

Note: Any statement submitted from a medical provider must have a real or electronic signature with verifiable contact information.

 

Eligible Expenses

All of the following medical and dental expenses that are directly related to the disaster and within the incident period may be awarded assistance.

  • Treatment or services by a licensed physician or dentist related to an injury or condition caused or exacerbated by the disaster.
  • Referral by a licensed physician or dentist.
  • Hospitalization and ambulance services.
  • Replacement or purchase of necessary medication.
  • Replacement, repair or purchase of medical or dental equipment (i.e., wheelchair, eyeglasses or bridge work).
  • Long-term or ongoing treatment (i.e., emergency room, mental health hospitalization (facility), physical therapy, etc.).
  • Grant award for loss of currently prescribed medications due to disaster is limited to a 90-day supply. Verification of purchased prescriptions before and after the disaster is required.
  • Special equipment for vehicles may be included if required for disabled persons.
  • Medical and dental insurance deductibles and co-payments.

Limitations and Exclusions 

  • Medically required generators purchased or rented to power equipment necessary for an existing medical condition may be considered under “Assistance for Miscellaneous Items” rather than “Medical and Dental Assistance.” A generator will be processed under “Miscellaneous Items” if purchased or rented to power a medically required piece of equipment, such as a medically required refrigerator.
  • IHP assistance for replacing lost or damaged medical or dental equipment is limited to items of similar quality and function as the item being replaced. 
  • IHP assistance for medical and dental services does not include medically unnecessary procedures (e.g., procedures designed to enhance appearance, such as teeth whitening). 
  • ONA can only reimburse for a 90-day supply of prescriptions. Depending on the pharmacy, this can be a one-time expenditure or an expense that runs over the course of three consecutive months.
  • A limited number of accessible items are available for applicants with disabilities under “Personal Property Assistance.” To be eligible, these items must have been owned prior to the disaster and sustained disaster-caused damage or loss. 
    •  If an inspector observed damaged ADA items in an applicant’s home during an inspection, those will be awarded under the “Personal Property” category. If ADA items were not notated and the applicant states they need them replaced, the applicant will need to provide ONA the appropriate documentation to be considered. Once all appropriate documentation is submitted, ADA items will be processed under the “Medical” category. This does not include medically required generators.
  • IHP assistance for service animals is limited to service dogs and miniature horses that perform a qualified task for a person with a disability, as defined by the ADA of 1990 (ADA; as amended, 2008). The ADA defines service animal as “any dog [or miniature horse] that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” 
  • A service animal must be required because of a disability and perform a functional task for the applicant or a member of the household. 
  • IHP assistance is not available for therapy animals or emotional support animals. 
     

Examples for Pre-Disaster Condition, Disability or Medical Condition (Exacerbated)

  1. Applicant was in a car accident two years prior to the disaster and has had monthly chiropractic visits. While trying to evacuate during the hurricane, the applicant reinjured his back trying to remove debris from the road. The chiropractor verifies that the applicant has had an injury and the visits would need to increase to three times a month. This increase in care will be needed for the next four consecutive months.
  2.  Applicant is an asthmatic and had to go to the hospital due to mold exposure from water coming into her home. Applicant provides medical documentation to support her claim.
  3.  Applicant relies on a motorized wheelchair for his daily needs. The wheelchair was destroyed while the applicant was attempting to evacuate and requires replacement. Applicant provides medical documentation to support his claim.
  4.  Applicant has worn a prosthetic chest plate for the last six months due to reconstructive surgery from breast cancer. Applicant waded through flood waters to get to safety and the breastplate was waterlogged. Due to the flood water, the breastplate began to grow mold and needed to be replaced. This is an eligible medical expense.
     

Specific Conditions for Denial


An applicant may be denied for all medical or dental grant awards if any of the following conditions are true:

  •  Medical and or dental insurance meets the needs of the applicant.
  •  Prescription needs met by other assistance, such as Red Cross.
  • Deferred dental maintenance or dentistry upgrades (i.e., gold fillings, teeth whitening, having teeth pulled and dentures put in due to personal neglect).
  •  Medical and/or dental are not directly related to the disaster. Examples:
    •  An applicant’s foot was run over in the parking lot while trying to buy groceries as all the food in his/her home had spoiled because of the disaster.
    •  An applicant submits an estimate from a dental provider showing that approximately seven teeth will need to be removed as well as a partial denture put in. ONA called the dental provider to verify the cause of damage to which the dental office confirmed the teeth would need to be pulled due to decay and is not required to fit the new partial. ONA will not cover the expense of having seven teeth removed as it was not caused by the disaster. 
  •  The medical and/or dental occurrence did not occur within the FEMA defined incident period.
     

10210.10 Funeral Guidelines

 

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

 

Funeral assistance is financial aid provided to an individual or household that experiences unexpected, uninsured or underinsured expenses associated with the death of an immediate family member when the death is attributed to an event that is declared a major disaster or emergency. The State Administrative Plan maximum allowance for funerals is $9,000 per death up to the IHP maximum. This amount is subject to change.


Unlike most forms of IHP assistance, an applicant seeking funeral assistance does not need to live in a presidentially declared disaster area to be considered for assistance.


The types of disaster-related funeral expenses for which assistance may be provided per death are:

  • Cost of the casket or urn, burial plot or cremation niche, marker or headstone, clergy or officiant services, transportation and preparations of the body, interment or cremation, and up to five death certificates;
  • Additional expenses mandated by any local government or law;
  • Transportation of up to two family members to the disaster area to identify the deceased (transportation of family members to the funeral site is not eligible); and
  • Cost of reinterment.

The following expenses are eligible for reinterment:

  • Reinterment (including costs for preparing and transporting the remains);
  • Funeral services (limited to the preparation and use of facilities to prepare for reinterment); and/or
  • Cost of identifying the disinterred human remains.

Funeral Assistance Key Terms

  • Interment: The placement of cremated remains or deceased human bodies in the ground, a cremation urn or other burial facility, such as a columbarium. A columbarium is a place where urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains are stored and memorialized.
  • Disinterment: The unearthing of cremated remains or deceased human bodies from the ground, a cremation urn or other burial facility, such as a columbarium.
  • Reinterment: The replacement of cremated remains or deceased human bodies in the ground, a cremation urn or other burial facility, such as a columbarium.
  • Funeral Services: Services to care for and prepare deceased human bodies and services to arrange, supervise or conduct the funeral ceremony. Services may include preparation of the deceased (e.g., embalming or cremation), use of facilities, staff for viewing, funeral ceremony or memorial service, use of equipment, staff for graveside service or committal service and use of hearse/funeral coach.
     

Conditions of Eligibility

In addition to meeting general consideration of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions to receive funeral assistance:

  • A licensed medical official, such as the medical examiner, coroner, doctor or a justice of the peace has attributed the death either directly or indirectly to the emergency or disaster. An exacerbation of a preexisting condition may be eligible if it is verified that the exacerbation was caused by the disaster.
  • State ONA staff may also contact the American Red Cross (ARC), hospitals, police and fire departments or ambulance companies for verification, or may review newspaper accounts. For these accounts to be accepted in lieu of verification from a licensed medical professional, they must clearly indicate that the death was either directly or indirectly related to the disaster event. 
  • The applicant incurred or will incur eligible funeral expenses not covered by other sources. Other sources may include burial insurance, crowdfunding accounts, financial assistance from voluntary agencies, applicable government programs/agencies or other entities.

 

Required Documentation


An applicant must submit:

  • An official death certificate that clearly indicates the death was attributed to the emergency or disaster, or a signed statement from a government licensed medical official, such as the medical examiner or coroner, attributing the death to the emergency or disaster, either directly or indirectly. 
    • A death is directly attributed to a disaster if caused by forces of the disaster or the direct consequence of the force, such as drowning, structural collapse, flying debris or radiation exposure;
    • A death is indirectly attributed to the disaster if it occurs as the result of unsafe or unhealthy conditions present during any phase of the disaster (i.e., pre or post disaster preparations or cleanup), including disaster-caused exacerbation of a preexisting condition (i.e., deferred medical treatments, such as dialysis or an interruption or inability to receive a medically necessary and life-sustaining medication such as insulin); 
    • State ONA staff may coordinate with the local government or medical officials to obtain verification that the disaster caused the death;
    • State ONA staff will not share the applicant’s personally identifiable information (PII) when obtaining documentation on the deceased; and
    • When ONA staff receives a signed statement from a licensed medical official, such as the medical examiner or coroner, which does not clearly state the disinterment, death or underlying cause of death was attributed either directly or indirectly to the emergency or disaster, ONA staff will work with the medical official to obtain clearer certification (statements such as “may have contributed” or “could have” will not be considered acceptable verification).
  • Receipts or verifiable estimates indicating the applicant incurred or will incur eligible interment, reinterment or funeral expenses.
  • Documentation of burial insurance and/or other forms of funeral assistance from voluntary agencies, government agencies (i.e., Social Security death benefits or Veterans Affairs assistance) or other entities. The benefit amount received from any of these sources will be deducted from any potential payment to avoid a duplication of benefits. Life insurance is considered a family resource and will not be considered a duplication of benefits.
  • For reinterment only, documentation proving that the disinterment occurred in a privately owned, licensed cemetery or burial facility (such as an association or community cemetery or burial facility) and the cemetery or burial facility is not responsible for reinterring displaced remains.
    • In the event of disinterment, ONA will consider requests that include a funeral home, burial facility or cemetery representative statement indicating that the cause of the disinterment was a direct result of the disaster. ONA may coordinate with any state official or cemetery, burial facility or funeral home representative to obtain this verification. 

 

Limitations and Exclusions 

  • ONA may provide assistance to the applicant only up to the funeral assistance amount established by the state of Texas. This amount is currently set at $9,000 per eligible death up to the seasonally adjusted IHP maximum grant amount.
  • ONA does not assist with any funeral or funeral-related expense that has been prepaid. A prepaid service or expense is defined as anything that was paid for at any time prior to the date of the death.
  • ONA will not provide assistance for any of the following:
    • Obituaries;
    • Flowers;
    • Printed materials such as banners, programs or register books;
    • Catering services, food or gratuities; and
    • Transporting the applicant or others to the site(s) of funeral services, interment or reinterment. 

Examples

  • A tornado hits a rural county in Texas and there was a death directly attributed to flying debris. The surviving spouse applied to FEMA for assistance and the case is referred to ONA. The spouse submits a death certificate that clearly identifies the death to be disaster related, a funeral purchase agreement, verification of a life insurance policy for $25,000 and verification that she received Social Security death benefits in the amount of $255. The funeral purchase agreement totals $9,000 and includes $500 for flowers and $600 for programs and a register book. The applicant is eligible for $7,645.
  • There was a power outage attributed to a disaster event in southern Texas and a death occurs because the deceased could not get electricity to power his oxygen machine. A surviving daughter who lives in New York applies for assistance and is referred to ONA.  She states she is responsible for the full expense and submits a statement from a doctor that attributes the death to the disaster, a funeral purchase agreement that contains no items considered ineligible per program guidelines, and a verification that she received $300 from a crowdfunding account. The total price for the funeral is $5,000. The applicant is eligible for $4,700.
     

10210.11 Personal Property Guidelines

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

 

FEMA may provide financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed due to a disaster. The ONA Administrative Option Section form includes a list of eligible items, also known as the Standard Personal Property Line Items list that may be considered for assistance. The state of Texas has the ability to request that items be added to, or removed from, the list within 72 hours of an IA declaration. 

FEMA and the state of Texas establish a maximum quantity that may be awarded for each personal property item. FEMA calculates the award amount for each item according to the consumer price index data for items of average quality, size and capacity in the area where the damage occurred. The assistance is intended to meet the basic needs of the household, not to restore personal property items to a pre-disaster condition. The program is not intended to indemnify all disaster losses.

When applicants reside in the same damaged pre-disaster residence and are not classified by FEMA as roommates or boarders, the owner or head of household will be considered responsible for the personal property in the common living areas up to the quantity limit. 
However, a household member could be eligible if the owner, head of household or landlord has not met the item quantity limit. The household members may be awarded the minimum amount of assistance to meet the household needs, not to exceed the quantity limit.  

FEMA will record personal property as being unaffected or needing repair or replacement during inspection of the applicant’s damaged primary residence. FEMA assistance to repair and replace personal property falls within the following categories:

  • Appliances: Including standard household appliances, such as a refrigerator, washing machine, etc.
  • Clothing:  Essential clothing needed due to overall loss, damage or contamination.  
  • Room Furnishings: Standard furnishings found in a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living room.
  • Essential Tools: Tools and equipment required by an employer as a condition of employment and items required as a condition of an applicant’s or household member’s education.
     

Conditions for Eligibility


In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive personal property assistance:

  • Damage to essential personal property verified through a FEMA inspection or upon the submission of a verifiable receipt, bill or invoice that indicates the disaster caused a need to repair or replace the item.
  • The occupants of the household have an unmet disaster-related need for the damaged item. ONA may not provide assistance if the applicant can meet that need with another similar item in their possession or available to the household (refer to the Standard Personal Property Line Item List for the allowable quantity and eligible items).
  • The item was owned and being used by occupants of the household.  
    • ONA does not provide assistance for furnishings and/or appliances provided by a landlord. 
    • Items used by guests and relatives who were not members of the pre-disaster household are not eligible for assistance. 

 

General Inspection Verification Guidelines

Assistance will generally be awarded based upon the recorded line item by the inspector during on-site verification. Items will not be recorded unless they are determined to need professional repair (cleaning) or replacement. It is expected that items minimally affected will be cleaned by the applicant. These cleaning costs are not eligible.

The level of damage will be recorded by the inspector as X (damaged but repairable or cleanable); Y (some items repairable, others should be replaced); Z (replace all); or NA (not affected).

  • X items will be paid at 25 percent of the line item cost. Y items will be paid at 50 percent of the line item cost. Z items will be paid at 100 percent of the line item cost.
  • Personal property assistance for rooms will be awarded based on the percentage of room composition, not with regards to individual items.
  • Assistance for appliances will be awarded at either repair (50 percent of replace cost) or replace (100 percent of replace cost). Note: For processing assistance purposes, FEMA identifies certain items as “appliances” that may not be considered a typical appliance to the general public. Items that fall into this category include children’s strollers and toys, every day dining tables, twin beds and property for applicants with access or functional needs, such as accessible toilet seats, beds, etc.
  • For clothing, the state will make a single award amount (Z).
  • In the event an inspector indicates two damaged line items and there is only a need for one item, the lesser of the two will be paid.
  • Items recorded as non-affected or landlord owned are ineligible for assistance. Non-affected means any of the following:
    • The inspector has viewed the items and determined that disaster-caused damages do not require the need to repair or replace; 
    • The inspector did not see the items and surrounding evidence (e.g., waterlines, signs of ceiling leaks, etc.) and does not substantiate the need to repair or replace the items; or
    • The inspector viewed the items and determined there was no damage.

Inspection History Verification Types

During any FEMA inspection, the inspector will use one of the following loss verification types: Viewed During Inspection or Verbal Damage Supports Claim.

  • Viewed During Inspection: Personal property items were viewed and the appropriate degree of damage for each has been recorded. The Viewed During Inspection option may also include items with no degree of damage and are identified as “not affected” in the degree field.
  • Verbal Damage Supports Claim: The inspector did not see the damaged items but surrounding evidence/damage supports the applicant’s claim that the disaster caused the loss.

Applicants must also meet specific eligibility requirements for each category of item for which they are requesting personal property assistance. These include:

  • Appliances: Assistance is based on the number and type of household appliances in need of repair or replacement. Applicants may receive assistance for two appliances that serve a similar purpose or function (e.g., a range and a microwave). 
  • Clothing: Assistance is based on the number of household members requiring clothing as determined during FEMA inspection. FEMA defines an essential need for clothing if existing clothing has been destroyed, is physically gone (e.g., blown away) or contaminated by chemicals or sewer backup as a result of disaster. FEMA expects applicants to clean clothing soaked by wind-driven rain, seepage or flood waters.  Clothing stored at the time of the disaster is not eligible for assistance (this includes seasonal clothing) and clothing will not be awarded for individual items.
  • Room Furnishings: Assistance is based on the level of damage to furnishings within specific rooms of the residence as recorded during FEMA inspection. The rooms must be one of the four types required to meet the needs of a typical household: kitchen, living room, bathroom or bedroom.
  • Essential Tools: Assistance is based on a need to replace essential tools, supplies and equipment owned pre-disaster that are required by an employer as a condition for employment, and items required as a condition of an applicant’s or household member’s education. This includes tools and equipment required for a specific trade or profession. Eligible items that fall under essential tools are listed below:
    • Schoolbooks/Supplies: Equipment and supplies required to be provided by the applicant for educational courses or schooling, including home schooling, college and trade school courses.
    • Uniforms: Required for school or work when the applicant is responsible for replacement of the uniforms.
    • Computers: Required by a school or an employer (not self-employment) when the applicant is responsible for the replacement of the computer.
    • Occupational Tools: Essential tools and equipment required by an employer (not self-employment) as a condition of employment.

Applicants may be asked to provide the following documentation for essential tools not verified during a FEMA inspection: 

  • A statement from the employer on company letterhead documenting the applicant is required to provide their own tools or computer as a condition of employment. 
  • A statement on school letterhead documenting a computer is required as a condition of education and the school does not provide access to computers to use outside of class, such as a school computer lab. 
  • An itemized list of the tools required by the employer, also on company letterhead. 
  • An itemized list of each tool required and a verifiable statement, estimate or bill from the place of the potential purchase stating that the damage was caused by the disaster. 

Accessible Items

FEMA also provides assistance for damaged personal property items required for applicants with disabilities. The list includes accessible beds, raised toilet seats, accessible refrigerators, accessible washers, and computers or adaptive technology when utilized as the sole means of communication for a household member with a disability. Motorized and non-motorized wheelchairs, shower chairs, visual/vibrating fire signals and walkers are also eligible items. 

  • If an applicant has additional medically required assistive devices not included in the list above, they may request assistance to replace those items under the Medical and Dental Assistance category of ONA (see Section 10210.9, Medical and Dental Guidelines). 
  • If the cost to repair or replace an ADA personal property item exceeds the award amount, applicants may request assistance for the additional amount by providing the following: 
    • A written or signed statement from a medical provider verifying the applicant or household member required the item prior to the disaster; and 
    • An itemized bill, receipt or estimate showing the repair or replacement cost of the item. 

Limitations and Exclusions 

  • An applicant must exhaust any potential insurance settlement or be denied by their insurance company before being considered for ONA.
  • An applicant who fails to file with their insurance company will be ineligible for ONA.
  • Pictures are not considered acceptable verification of personal property loss and ONA will not make determinations based on pictures.
  • An applicant is ineligible for any items when the cause of damage to that item is a flood and the applicant is found to be noncompliant with a prior flood insurance requirement.
  • If the applicant’s residence is located in a Coastal Barrier Resource System (CBRS) area, that applicant will be ineligible for assistance.
  • If the applicant’s residence is located in a special flood hazard area (SFHA) in a nonparticipating or sanctioned community and the applicant has damages attributed to flood, the applicant will be ineligible. 
  • Applicants incarcerated at the time of the disaster who incur disaster-caused damage to their personal property within their unit at the correctional facility or detention center are ineligible for IHP assistance. Prisoners are legally entrusted to the corrections institute which is responsible for safeguarding their persons and providing for their needs. 
  • An applicant may be eligible for personal property assistance when their insurance denies payment because the damages are below the deductible. 
    • Example: An applicant has a FEMA Verified Loss (FVL) of $2,345 for damage caused by tornado wind. The applicant files with their insurance but is denied because while they are insured for this peril, their damages do not exceed their deductible of $7,500. Upon verification of the insurance denial, ONA would pay the full FVL of $2,345.
  • Financial assistance for flood-damaged personal property in basements is limited to both of the following: 
    • Washers and dryers; and 
    • Essential personal property in rooms required for the occupation of the dwelling (for example, occupied bedrooms, a bathroom required for the occupied bedroom, a sole kitchen or living room). 

 

10210.11.1 Stored Personal Property

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

Damage to personal property items in commercial storage or in transit to a new primary residence at the time of the disaster may be eligible if the items are serious needs or necessary expenses, as determined by the inspector or by ONA staff upon receipt of serious need verification from the applicant. Damaged personal property items that were in storage at the time of the disaster for more than 60 days are generally not considered a serious need, as they were not being used at the time of the disaster and their loss does not create a hardship. However, if the applicant can provide evidence that they were going to move to a new location and were planning on moving within a reasonable period of time (accepted a job, signed a lease or bought a home at a new location, etc.), then a grant for the essential stored items may be allowed.

Items damaged in transit are generally considered nonessential. This would include items damaged in a vehicle during an evacuation, unless the need is determined to be essential through submission of verifiable bill, estimate, receipt or invoice indicating disaster-related damage, or with verification through a FEMA inspection. 

 

Required Verification

  • A signed, written explanation describing the need for the repair or replacement of essential personal property;
  • A list of all damaged items, along with a list of any similar items the applicant owns that were not affected by the disaster;
  • Pre- and post-disaster lease agreements or home purchase paperwork verifying the intent to move; and
  • Applicable commercial storage unit lease agreement or rental truck agreement including all insurance information and settlements.
     

Stored Personal Property Limitations and Exclusions

  • Assistance for items stored in a noncommercial storage facility, such as a garage or spare room, will not be eligible for assistance.
  • Assistance for stored items may not duplicate assistance for any undamaged items in the applicant’s possession (e.g., an applicant has a verified intent to move and verified damage to his stored personal property. While the applicant had one television damaged in storage, he/she also has one television that was not in storage and was not affected. The applicant would be ineligible for the damaged unit as the item quantity limit for the appliance has been met.)

Examples

  • A family is moving across the country and while passing through Texas, their moving truck is flooded by a disaster event. The family registers with FEMA and a FEMA inspector generally confirms their losses. The family provides their pre- and post-disaster housing plan, verification of no insurance and a statement that they own no similar items not damaged by the disaster. ONA will award the family for their losses. Occupancy does not need to be verified.
  • During a disaster event, a storage facility in Houston is flooded. An applicant registers with FEMA for their items lost at the storage unit. The applicant has no damage to their home. They provide a lease showing the storage unit was rented five months prior to the disaster date. The applicant is ineligible for assistance as the items had been in storage more than 60 days, and they are no longer considered essential. 
  • During a disaster event, a storage facility in Beaumont is flooded. An applicant registers with FEMA for the items lost in storage. The storage unit is inspected and a FEMA inspector verifies loss. The applicant provides their pre-disaster lease and post-disaster lease showing they were in a transitional housing stage and verifying the intent to move.  The applicant provides verification that there was no insurance on the storage unit and a statement that he/she owns clothing that was not affected by storm and not in the storage unit. The applicant is eligible for all stored items other than clothing as general limitations apply.
  • An applicant registers with FEMA and requests assistance for items they claim were damaged while being transported on a trailer to a safe location at the onset of the disaster event. The applicant is unable to provide verification of this loss and a FEMA inspector is equally unable to confirm the loss. The applicant is ineligible for assistance as no verification of loss or essential need can be established.

 

10210.12 Transportation Guidelines

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

The state uses the ONA Administrative Option Selection form to establish the maximum amount of transportation assistance (i.e., transportation repair and transportation replacement) that may be awarded. The amount of transportation repair and replacement assistance awarded is based on the degree of damage and the repair and replacement maximum.

Eligible Expenses

Following are types of disaster-related transportation expenses, not to exceed $9,000 per vehicle (value to be adjusted in January each year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all consumer goods).


Assistance may be provided for repairs to an automobile, van, truck, boat, motorcycle, bike, or other vehicle that are not cosmetic. Cosmetic items are not related to the safe operation of the vehicle (for example, body work, molding, trim, bumpers, and paint). Eligible items that are related to health and safety include carpet, seats, and headliners. The grant award for transportation repairs is $550 up to $9,000, the maximum replacement amount for a vehicle.

Note: If automatic determination (Auto-D) is switched on, and the FEMA inspector determines that the vehicle is repairable, the applicant will automatically be awarded $550 for minimal repair and towing.

Eligible items for disaster-related transportation expenses include:

  • Cost of repair estimates.
  • Replacement of the destroyed vehicle.

Note: When an inspector determines the vehicle is destroyed the state will pay a single lump sum of $9,000.

Specific Conditions for Eligibility

  • The damaged vehicle must have been in compliance with all state laws regarding vehicle registration prior to the start and during the FEMA specified incident period (per the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles guidelines, vehicles must be registered in the new owner's name within 30 days of purchase), inspection, licensing, and insurance requirements before the disaster. 
    • Windshield stickers will not be allowed as proof of current registration.
  • The applicant does not own an operational and unaffected second vehicle.
    • An operational vehicle is defined as a vehicle that may need cosmetic repairs or incurred minimal damage but is in compliance with state registration and insurance requirements at the time of the disaster and can be legally driven.
    • Excluded drivers on an insurance policy will not be given consideration for transportation needs.  
  • The applicant must be determined ineligible for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan through the income test, be denied an SBA loan, or receive an SBA loan that is insufficient to cover his or her other needs related to necessary expenses and serious needs.
  • The damaged vehicle is owned or leased (i.e., not a rental vehicle) by the applicant, co-applicant or household member. 

Considerations for Second Vehicles

Justification that more than one vehicle is necessary to meet the needs of the household and the applicant does not have sufficient unaffected/operational vehicles to meet this need. This applies for one or two disaster-affected vehicles. The applicant certifies in writing the damaged vehicle is essential for the household’s daily usage, presents circumstances and explains the serious need for a second vehicle. Supporting documents will be reviewed, when available, but are not required if the written justification/circumstance is sufficient for processing.

Considerations for Gifted Vehicles

If the vehicle meets the requirement of liability insurance and is registered (or insured) to a non-household member, verify if there is information within the file indicating the documented owner “gave” the vehicle to the applicant (e.g., due to credit issues, etc.) and the applicant is responsible for all maintenance, upkeep, fees, etc.

Examples Related to Vehicle Repair and Replacement: The following examples demonstrate that the lump sum payment method does not consider the value of the vehicle or any outstanding loans on the vehicle. The applicant would receive $550 for repairs based solely on the FEMA inspector's determination that the vehicle was in need of repair. 

  • An applicant has no comprehensive insurance, but complies with all other state requirements, including liability requirements, and was initially provided $550 for repairs. Applicant submitted an estimate from an automotive repair shop that stated the vehicle had disaster related damages. The mechanic mentioned the vehicle was not repairable. A supplemental award for $8,450 is made to the applicant ($9,000 – $550 = $8,450).
  • An applicant has no comprehensive insurance, but complies with all other state requirements, including liability requirements, and was initially provided $550 for repairs. Applicant submitted an estimate from a certified mechanic that totaled $3,250. The applicant will receive an additional supplement award of $2,700 ($3,250 – $550 = $2,700).
  • An applicant was initially denied assistance due to insurance; therefore, he or she did not receive the initial repair amount of $550. The applicant has a $10,000 lien on a vehicle deemed "destroyed" by the insurance company and meets the state requirements for eligibility. The insurance settlement of $7,500 was a forced payoff to the lien holder. The applicant has a remaining lien of $2,500 and no transportation. The applicant will receive $9,000.

Considerations Related to Transportation

A family may demonstrate the need for repairs to, or replacement of, more than one vehicle. The family will need to demonstrate that the additional vehicle is integral in the daily maintenance of the household (work, school, regularly scheduled long-term medical appointments, etc.)

Examples

  • A husband works and the wife takes their children to school each day. The school district does not provide reasonable, convenient transportation to and from their primary residence. The husband's place of employment is not reasonably served by public transportation. The family has two vehicles without comprehensive insurance that the inspector indicates were destroyed by the disaster. The family has no other vehicles. One of the vehicles is auto-determined as eligible. The family is eligible for an award for more than one vehicle.
  • A wife works and drives each day. The husband stays at home and takes care of the children. The family has two vehicles without comprehensive insurance that the inspector indicates were destroyed by the disaster. The family has no other vehicles. One of the vehicles is auto-determined as eligible. The family submits a statement that the husband uses the second vehicle to run errands such as getting groceries. The applicant would receive assistance for the additional vehicle.
  • An applicant has a vehicle damaged in the disaster. While the vehicle is being inspected/repaired, the automotive shop has provided the applicant with a list of needed parts. The applicant provided some or all of the parts to be installed to the repair shop. The applicant is eligible for assistance for the repair parts that were listed and verified as required by the repair shop for the vehicle.
  • A family did not own a vehicle before the disaster, but now demonstrates an ongoing and permanent need for transportation. An applicant took public transportation to work before the disaster. Due to the disaster, his place of employment has been forced to relocate to an area that is not served by public transportation and the applicant provides a public transit map that verifies this. The lump sum replacement amount for a vehicle will be eligible. Additional transportation costs due to damage to a community’s infrastructure may be eligible.  
  • A flood destroys the only bridge in a community. An applicant who drives to work each day and whose place of employment is on the opposite side of the river is forced to pay for ferry service across the river. The applicant is eligible for the cost of the ferry.
  • Transportation expenses for migrant workers whose employment has been affected by the disaster will be eligible.
  • Funds received from salvage of a vehicle are considered duplicative and are deducted from the assistance award for the vehicle.

Verification

  • Vehicle repair or replacement assistance will usually be based using on-site inspection verification.
  • Verification of vehicle registration, liability insurance and compliance with state law will usually be accomplished during the on-site inspection.
  • Verification of vehicle repair, a verifiable bill, receipt or estimate from a mechanic that has the following:
    • Confirms the damage is disaster-caused;
    • Identifies repair or replacement costs (e.g., shop and/or customer provided parts, service and labor); and
    • Includes the mechanic’s verifiable contact information.
  • For multiple vehicle awards, the applicant must provide a statement on why more than one vehicle is a serious need.
  • To receive assistance for a damaged vehicle that was gifted to a non-household member, the applicant must provide:
    • A signed, written statement from the applicant declaring that they are responsible for all maintenance, upkeep, fees, etc.; and 
    • A signed, written statement from the documented owner explaining the ownership and vehicle maintenance arrangement.
  • In order for ONA to approve an award for a vehicle that was not previously owned by the applicant, the applicant must provide a statement that public transportation is not available for the indefinite future.

Specific Reasons for Denial

  • The applicant did not comply with vehicle registration, inspection, licensing, or liability insurance requirements before the disaster or failed to provide the vehicle registration at the time of the disaster.
  • The damage to the vehicle was cosmetic only. Cosmetic damage is defined as damage that does not affect the drivability or safety of the vehicle in any way (e.g., minor dents, scratches and other similar low levels of damage).
  • The applicant or other household member is listed as an excluded driver on the insurance policy.
  • The mechanic estimate provided does not indicate disaster-related damages to the vehicle and/or the estimate could not be verified.
  • The applicant is referred to SBA and failed to apply, withdrew his/her application or refused part or the entire loan.
  • The applicant has a usable vehicle that meets his or her needs for transportation.
  • The applicant has comprehensive insurance that meets his essential needs.
  • The applicant lives in a Coastal Barrier Resource System area.

 

10210.13 Moving and Storage Guidelines

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

 

ONA may provide assistance for disaster-related moving and storage of essential personal property following a disaster event. Generally, this includes storage of personal property while repairs are being made to the primary residence and returning the property to the applicant’s primary residence. 

ONA may provide assistance with eligible moving and storage expenses through the period of assistance or up to the IHP financial assistance maximum award, whichever comes first.

 

Conditions for Eligibility

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive moving and storage Assistance:

  • The property being moved and stored is considered essential. Essential personal property is defined as the items established in the Standard Personal Property Line Items list.
  • The applicant is moving and/or storing essential household goods to prevent additional damage and returning them to the previous or new primary residence.
  • The applicant’s primary residence was rendered uninhabitable due to the disaster. This is verified in one of the following ways:
    • The applicant received assistance for personal property or home repair.
    • A FEMA inspector verified that habitability repairs were required (HRR).
    • The applicant received a storm-related eviction notice.

 

Eligible Expenses


Moving and storage assistance may be provided for, but is not limited to, all the following expenses:

  • Costs for commercial moving labor.
  • Moving truck rental fee.
  • Fuel for the rental vehicle.
  • Costs for supplies such as tape and boxes.
  • Commercial storage unit fees.
  • Associated sales tax.

 

Ineligible Expenses 

All of the following expenses are ineligible:

  • Moving and storage of recreational items (e.g., fishing gear, canoes, jet skis and nonessential vehicles).
  • Costs incurred for the moving and storage of items as a preventative measure prior to the disaster.
  • Expenses for essential personal property that is moved out of a damaged pre-disaster residence and will not be returned to the former or new primary residence.  
  • Optional insurance and security deposits listed on an applicant’s receipts, bills or estimates, and merchandise such as locks.

Note: Many flood insurance policies provide up to $1,000 in moving expenses. As FEMA is unable to duplicate assistance from other sources, applicants who have flood insurance will have to submit documentation to show they have exhausted funds allocated under their policy for moving expenses prior to being considered for FEMA’s moving and storage assistance.

Required Documentation

Applicants must submit:

  • Verifiable receipts, bills or estimates with the associated dates for the commercial moving expenses.
  • Verifiable receipts or bills with the associated commercial storage expenses, as well as a storage unit lease agreement showing a post-disaster move-in date.
  • Documentation regarding the applicant’s current housing arrangement, such as a landlord statement, current lease agreement or hotel/temporary housing verification.
  • Statements with the following:
    • The reason(s) moving and storage expenses were required;
    • A description of the essential household goods being stored; and
    • Information indicating the essential household goods are being stored while repairs to the primary residence are being made, or until a new primary residence is found.

Limitations and Exclusions

 

  • When the cause of damage is flooding and the applicant failed to maintain a flood insurance requirement that was a condition of a previous disaster assistance award, the applicant will be ineligible for the first $1,000 of incurred moving expenses. Storage expenses may still be eligible.
  • For an applicant who was a renter at the time of the disaster, a new primary residence is defined as one for which the applicant has signed a lease for any period of time other than month-to-month. This exclusion will not apply to an applicant who owned their pre-disaster damaged dwelling and has obtained a new unit while repairs to the pre-disaster residence are being made.
  • For any applicant with flood insurance, verification of any “loss of use” coverage must be obtained to avoid duplication of program benefits.
  • Storage units rented prior to the disaster are not eligible.



Examples

  •  An applicant’s particular apartment unit received no disaster-related damages but other units in the same complex did. The property management company evicts all residents so repairs may be made to the complex. The applicant may be eligible for moving and/or storage assistance until a new primary residence is obtained.
  • An applicant submitted a $100 receipt for a storage unit and a lease agreement showing a move-in date post disaster. The applicant had no personal property damage, received no home repair assistance and their FEMA inspector indicated that no habitability repairs were required. The applicant has not submitted a disaster-related eviction notice. The applicant is denied assistance.
  • An applicant’s apartment was damaged by a disaster and he/she is forced to relocate. The applicant obtains a commercial storage unit to keep undamaged property safe while transitioning to permanent housing. The applicant submits receipts and is paid for the first two months of storage. At the end of the second month, the applicant signs a one-year lease at a new apartment. The applicant is now ineligible for assistance with further storage expenses as they are considered permanently housed.

 

10210.14 Child Care Guidelines

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

 

Eligible Expenses

The state may provide assistance for disaster-related child care expenses under a provision of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. These expenses include the fee for service of providing child care, registration fees, and health screenings. The award is a one-time payment for child care assistance for the household’s increased financial burden. The maximum amount of assistance is $2,000 and up to eight weeks of child care, or the maximum allowed amount for child care, whichever is less. Child care is considered a non-SBA dependent category.

Specific Conditions of Eligibility

  • The child for which child care is being requested must be a taxable dependent of the parent or guardian requesting the child care assistance.
  • Applicant has an increased financial burden either by change in gross income or increase in child care cost as a result of the disaster.
  • Applicant does not have another resource available for child care, such as compensation from insurance or another source that meets the applicant’s child care needs.
  • The child is age 13 and under or a child up to age 21 with a disability, as defined by federal law, who requires assistance with activities of daily living.
  • The child care provider is licensed, regulated or registered under state law.

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility, applicants must have a disaster-caused increase in financial burden for child care, regardless of whether child care expenses were required prior to the disaster, because:

  • The applicant’s gross household income has decreased as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • The applicant’s child care expenses have increased as a result of the disaster.

Applicants must certify they cannot utilize child care services provided by any other source (e.g., other federal assistance for child care, private employer child care services, etc.) in order to qualify for child care assistance.


For applicants with child care expenses prior to the disaster, FEMA compares the percentage of the household’s gross income spent for child care expenses before the disaster to the percentage spent following the disaster to determine if the post-disaster child care costs create a financial burden. 


Example: If the household’s pre-disaster income was $3,500 per week and pre-disaster child care costs were $750 per week, child care costs were 21.4% of the household’s income pre-disaster. If the post-disaster income is $3,500 per week and post-disaster child care costs are $1,000 per week, child care costs are now 28.6% of the household’s income post-disaster.

If the percentage of household gross income spent on child care post-disaster is higher than the percentage of household gross income spent on child care pre-disaster, the household has an increased financial burden for child care and may be eligible for assistance. In the example above, the percentage of the household’s gross income spent on child care is 7.2% higher than the percentage of the household’s gross income spent on child care pre-disaster. Because the household has an increased burden for child care, they may be eligible for the increased percentage.


The applicant’s post-disaster child care provider must be licensed, regulated or registered under applicable government law to qualify for assistance.


The following items are eligible expenses for child care assistance:
 

  • Standard child care service fees, including personal assistance services that support activities of daily living for children with disabilities.
  • Registration and health inventory fees may be eligible expenses only for applicants who require a new child care service provider.

 

Required Documentation

For FEMA to determine a disaster-caused need for child care assistance, an applicant who had child care expenses pre-disaster must submit:

  • Pre- and post-disaster gross household income documentation.
  • Pre-disaster receipts, contract or signed letter from the child care provider for child care expenses, if receipts or the contract cannot be located.
  • Post-disaster receipts or estimates for child care fees, registration and/or health inventory fees.
  • A post-disaster child care contract or agreement.
  • A post-disaster child care provider’s license, if the information cannot be located within a licensed provider database.
  • Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), 504 plan or medical professional’s statements, if applicable, to verify disability for children up to age 21 who need assistance with activities of daily living.
  • A signed, written statement from the applicant.

An applicant who did not have child care expenses pre-disaster, and has incurred or will incur child care expenses as a result of the disaster, must submit:

  • Post-disaster receipts or estimates for child care fees, registration and/or health inventory fees.
  • A post-disaster child care contract or agreement.
  • A post-disaster child care provider’s license, if the information cannot be located within a licensed provider database.
  • IEP, 504 plan or medical professional’s statements, if applicable, to verify disability for children up to age 21 who need assistance with activities of daily living.
  • A signed, written statement from the applicant.

Verification

  • Applicant must have a child listed as a dependent and occupant of the applicant’s dwelling at the time of the disaster.
  • Evaluation of applicants’ pre-and post-disaster gross income as well as pre-disaster child care expenses.
  • Applicants requesting child care for children age 14 to 21 will need to provide proof that the children need assistance caring for themselves (that is, proof of functional need).

Specific Reasons for Denial

  • The applicant did not demonstrate through submitted documentation an increased financial burden for child care as a result of the disaster.
  • The applicant applied to be reimbursed for ineligible fees, such as:
    • fees for any extracurricular activities, additional services (for example, school photographs) or off‐site trips (for example, field trips) that are not a standard, reoccurring fee in the contract or agreement between the child care provider and responsible party;
    • optional fees that do not interfere with the day‐to‐day child care services that are provided to the eligible child (for example, prepared lunches, snacks, facility provided linens, etc.);
    • fees for transportation;
    • educational services (for example, after-school tutoring);
    • medical care or services; or
    • recreational camps or clubs (for example, after-school clubs, overnight camps, etc.).
  • The applicant did not apply within the period of eligibility.
  • The child care provider is not an “eligible child care provider.” To be an eligible child care provider, the provider must be licensed, regulated or registered under applicable state or local law.
  • Applicant has another resource available for child care, such as compensation from insurance or another source that meets the applicant’s child care needs.

Limitations and Exclusions

  • FEMA limits child care assistance to up to eight cumulative weeks per child or per household, or the maximum amount of assistance established by the state of Texas.
  • FEMA will only provide child care assistance to one applicant on behalf of the child(ren).
  • If a child is a member of multiple households, FEMA will only award assistance to the primary custodial parent/guardian responsible for child care costs after the disaster.
  • FEMA will not provide assistance for any of the following:
    • Fees for extracurricular activities and additional services (e.g., school photographs, field trips);
    • Fees not directly related to the day-to-day child care services provided to the eligible child (e.g., prepared lunches, snacks, facility-provided linens, etc.);
    • Fuel expenses related to transporting the child to and from the child care provider (e.g., school bus service); 
    • Education services (e.g., after-school tutoring);
    • Medical care or services; and
    • Recreational camps or clubs (e.g., after-school clubs, overnight camps).
       

 

10210.15 Miscellaneous Expenses Guidelines

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

 

FEMA provides financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to individuals and households with certain disaster-caused miscellaneous expenses. Eligible items must be purchased or rented after the incident to assist with the applicant’s disaster recovery, such as gaining access to the property or assisting with cleaning efforts. Items damaged by the disaster that were owned prior to the disaster will be considered under “Personal Property Assistance.” The state of Texas, in consultation with FEMA, has identified standard miscellaneous line items. However, the state of Texas may elect not to include all of these items as eligible for reimbursement:

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector; 
  • Chainsaw; 
  • Dehumidifier; 
  • Generator (Note: A generator will be processed under personal property if owned prior to the disaster.);
  • Humidifier; 
  • Smoke Detector; and 
  • Weather Radio. 

Note: The assistance is awarded on the line item costs established by FEMA's pricing contractor. When the expense is not established through the contracting agent, the state will pay the actual cost. The state reserves the right to establish a maximum allowable amount for that item.

The generator is purchased or rented because of an event that results in an emergency or major disaster declaration by the president. For the purposes of this policy, the qualifying incident period for the event starts at the date the governor declared a state of emergency and ends at the closure of the incident date published by FEMA in the Federal Register, or the date power is restored to the applicant's dwelling, whichever occurs first.

Consideration for Miscellaneous Expenses

The item may be purchased, rented or leased.


In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive assistance for miscellaneous items: 

  • The expense must be a direct result of the disaster. 
  • The item must have been purchased or rented within 30 days from the incident start date or up to the last day of the incident period, whichever is greater. 
  • Generator exception: The reimbursement period starts the day the governor declares a state of emergency and ends at the incident period closure date identified by FEMA in the Federal Register, or if warranted due to extraordinary circumstances, the date commercial power is restored to the applicant’s primary residence as verified by the FEMA Joint Field Office (JFO) or commercial power provider. 
  • Applicants must provide an itemized receipt or equipment rental agreement for eligible expenses. 
  • The expense must not be covered by insurance or provided by any other source.
  • Applicants provide proof that the appliance is required for medical purposes (i.e., letter from physician stating the applicant/occupant has a medical need for the appliance). 

Reimbursement of rental cost will not exceed established retail purchase pricing guidelines for a 5.5 kw generator.

Verification

  • Miscellaneous expense assistance will usually be verified during the on-site inspection;
  • In the event the item was not recorded during the inspection, the bill or receipt for the purchase, rental or lease of the item must be submitted to the state, along with a statement from the applicant that explains why the miscellaneous expense is disaster-related; and
  • A letter from a physician stating that a generator is medically required, if the generator was not verified during the inspection. The letter must be signed by the physician and have verifiable contact information.

Limitations and Exclusions

  • If the applicant owned the eligible miscellaneous item prior to the disaster and the item was damaged by the disaster, the item will be considered under “Personal Property Assistance.” 
  • Assistance for miscellaneous items is limited to the quantity established for the item by the state of Texas on the ONA Administrative Option Selection form. 
  • If the pre-disaster primary residence is located within a CBRS Unit, the applicant may not be considered for financial assistance for miscellaneous items except for expenses to purchase or rent items required to power life-sustaining medical equipment (e.g., generators). 

Generator expenses only:

  • The generator must be purchased or rented to power a medically required piece of equipment, including medically required refrigerators. 
  • The generator must be purchased or rented due to a disruption in electrical utility service as a result of the disaster. 
  • The applicant must submit a statement from a medical services provider, indicating the equipment is medically necessary. 
  • The allowable grant amount for generators is limited to the prevailing retail or rental rate for a 5.5 kw-sized generator, as identified by FEMA. 
  • The eligible reimbursement period for generator rental costs starts on the date the governor declares a state of emergency and ends at the incident period closure date identified by FEMA in the Federal Register or, if warranted due to extraordinary circumstances, the date commercial power is restored to the applicant’s primary residence as verified by the FEMA JFO or commercial power provider. 
  • The FEMA Individual Assistance Division director may waive one or more conditions of eligibility during extraordinary circumstances (e.g., sustained power outage during a period of subfreezing temperatures) when determined to be in the public’s interest. 

 

Chainsaw expenses only:

  • The chainsaw must be purchased or rented to gain access to and/or remove hazards from the home.
  • Applicants who receive financial housing assistance or have insurance coverage for debris or tree removal costs may not receive assistance for miscellaneous items for chainsaw reimbursement.
  • Applicants who receive a clean and removal award from FEMA are not eligible for assistance for miscellaneous items for chainsaw reimbursement.
     

Specific Reasons for Denial

Expenses incurred for generators purchased, leased or rented outside the established time frame are not eligible for reimbursement. Generators that are not needed for medical necessity are not eligible. 

 

10210.16 Critical Needs Assistance (CNA)

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020

FEMA may provide financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to applicants who have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are lifesaving and life-sustaining items including, but not limited to, water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items and fuel for transportation.

Program Request and Approval

The state of Texas must submit a written request to FEMA to implement CNA. FEMA’s Individual Assistance Division director may authorize assistance when the majority of applicants from the declared area are, or will be, displaced from their primary residence for an extended period of time, generally seven days or more. The state of Texas will have 14 days from the date of the declaration to submit the request for CNA. CNA will be approved for the initial 14-day period from the date of the presidential declaration. When necessary based on applicant need, this period of assistance may be extended by the FEMA Individual Assistance Division director, if requested by the state of Texas.
 

Conditions of Eligibility


Applicants will be considered for assistance if all of the following apply:

  • They pass FEMA’s identity verification process;

  • At registration, they assert that they have critical needs and request expenses for those needs and expenses;

  • Their pre-disaster primary residence as reported on their application, (occupancy verification is not required) is located in an area designated for CNA; and
  • They are displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence as a result of the disaster.

Limitations and Exclusions

Unless otherwise indicated by the state of Texas:

  • CNA is limited to $500 per eligible household; and
  • CNA will be awarded as a one-time payment and will only be available at the time of registration.

 

10210.17 Group Flood Insurance Policy

Revision 14-1; Effective January 31, 2014

 

Eligible Expenses

The state may provide assistance for purchasing a Group Flood Insurance Policy (GFIP). The financial assistance will be provided on behalf of the applicant to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Specific Conditions for Eligibility

  • The applicant receives financial assistance for personal property damage due to flood under the ONA provision of IHP.
  • The applicant has a FEMA-imposed National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 (NFIRA) requirement.
  • The applicant lacks SBA loan repayment ability and is referred to ONA.
  • Must reside in a 100-year Flood Zone A or Z.

    Examples
    • An applicant has $4,000 of real property damage and $3,000 of personal property damage due to flood. The applicant fails the SBA income test. The applicant will receive $7,000 of real and personal property damage and an IHP-imposed NFIRA requirement. The applicant is eligible for GFIP financial assistance that will be provided for and sent to the NFIP by the ONA supervisor/grant coordinating officer (GCO) on behalf of the applicant.
    • An applicant has $4,000 of real property damage and $3,000 of personal property damage due to flood. The applicant passes the income test. The applicant receives $4,000 of real property assistance and an IHP-imposed NFIRA requirement. After applying to SBA, the applicant is provided a full loan to cover all additional disaster-related needs. The applicant is not eligible for the personal property assistance or the GFIP financial assistance.
    • An applicant has $4,000 of real property damage and $3,000 of personal property damage due to flood. The applicant passes the income test. The applicant receives $4,000 of real property assistance and an IHP-imposed NFIRA requirement. After applying to SBA, the applicant is denied assistance and is referred to IHP for additional Other Needs Assistance. The applicant is eligible for $3,000 of personal property assistance as well as GFIP financial assistance that will be paid for and sent to the NFIP by the ONA GCO on behalf of the applicant.
    • An applicant has $8,000 of real property damage and $3,000 of personal property damage due to flood. The applicant fails the income test. The applicant receives $5,000 of real property assistance (maximum for repairs) from FEMA and $3,000 of personal property assistance from ONA, as well as an IHP-imposed NFIRA requirement. The applicant is therefore eligible for GFIP financial assistance that will be paid for and sent to the NFIP by the ONA GCO on behalf of the applicant.
    • An applicant has $8,000 of real property damage only, due to flood. The applicant fails the income test. The applicant receives $5,000 of real property assistance as well as an IHP-imposed NFIRA requirement. The applicant is not eligible for a GFIP because there is no eligible personal property loss.
    • An applicant has $8,000 of real property damage only, due to flood. The applicant passes the income test. The applicant receives $5,000 of real property assistance as well as an IHP-imposed NFIRA requirement. After applying to the SBA, the applicant is denied assistance. However, there will not be a referral to ONA. The applicant is not eligible for GFIP financial assistance because ONA did not provide a grant for personal property (no personal property damage).

Specific Reasons for Denial

  • Applicants that received a limited or partial loan from the SBA will not receive a GFIP.
  • Applicants that received replacement housing will not receive a GFIP, unless they lack SBA loan repayment ability and are referred to ONA with personal property damage.

Considerations for Group Insurance Premiums

  • GFIP coverage will be equal to the maximum amount of the IHP award each year.
    Note: That award amount is adjusted annually (in October each year) in line with the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.
  • The GFIP policy coverage will start 60 days after the declaration date and run for 36 months thereafter.

Verification

Payment of the GFIP will usually be based upon the personal property payment of ONA with a FEMA flood insurance requirement within NEMIS.

 

10210.18 Unspecified Types of Assistance and Items

Revision 14-1; Effective January 31, 2014

 

The state may determine that other specific services needed for recovery expenses are eligible on a case-by-case basis. This category is reserved for services and items that are currently unspecified, but are necessary expenses and serious needs that are unique to a specific disaster. The final decision on these items will be made by the GCO and SCO.

 

10210.19 Notification

Revision 14-1; Effective January 31, 2014

 

Applicants are entitled to prompt notification of assistance decisions by letter. The state will use letters in NEMIS to notify applicants of their eligibility. The letters will be mailed to the applicant by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Processing Service Center (NPSC), as FEMA handles all correspondence under the "Joint" administration of ONA. The state will create its own letters addressing recoupments and appeals considerations. A copy of all state-generated letters will be provided to the application case file in NEMIS.

Types of notification letters:

  • Approval
  • Denial
  • Withdrawal
  • Requests for information
  • Recoupments
  • Appeals
  • Miscellaneous (referrals, etc.)
  • Flood insurance requirement, specifically, when flood insurance purchase and maintenance is a condition of the assistance award, a letter will notify the applicant of the requirement

Line Item Specific Guidelines

A damaged helmet will be determined eligible when the inspector determines that a mode of transportation that requires a helmet exists in the household.

Examples

  • An applicant has a dirt bike that is used for fun on weekends. The applicant has a damaged helmet. The applicant will not be paid for the replacement of the helmet.
  • An applicant uses a motorcycle to drive to work and back each day. The disaster damaged the helmet. The applicant will receive assistance for the damaged helmet.
  • An applicant has a helmet that was damaged in the disaster. The applicant does not own a vehicle of any sort for which a helmet is required. The applicant will not receive assistance for the helmet.