Governor Abbott announces extension for FEMA individual assistance registration period

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that at the request of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended the Individual Assistance registration period for Texans impacted by the winter storm. Individuals who live in qualifying counties now have until May 20, 2021 to submit damages and make claims to FEMA.

“Thank you to FEMA for granting this registration period extension for Individual Assistance to counties severely impacted by the winter storm,” said Governor Abbott. “I encourage Texans in the qualifying counties to apply for this assistance to help repair any lasting damages from the storm.”

The Governor originally requested Individual Assistance for all 254 Texas counties on February 18th. On February 20th, the White House partially approved Texas’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration. The partial approval included Individual Assistance in 77 counties and for Public Assistance (Emergency Protective Measures Only) in all 254 counties. Later in February, the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) re-requested — and FEMA approved — an additional 31 counties to be added to the President’s Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance. On February 26th, FEMA approved an additional 18 counties for Individual Assistance. TDEM continues working closely with local officials to conduct damage assessments and is providing those damage totals from across the state to FEMA for their determination on further county add-ons for both federal Individual Assistance and additional categories of Public Assistance. Texans in the 126 counties that qualify for Individual Assistance can apply at https://www.disasterassistance.gov/.

Texas residents whose furnaces, septic systems or wells were damaged by February’s severe winter storms may be eligible for financial assistance under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. If denied assistance, applicants may appeal.

What type of assistance is available?

• For private wells, furnaces, and septic systems, FEMA may provide assistance or reimbursement for the cost of a professional, licensed technician’s estimate of the repair or replacement of these items.

• You also may receive assistance for the actual repair or replacement of these items not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance.

• If you have applied for FEMA assistance and have not had a home inspection, you should call FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for instructions related to your situation. At the time of your inspection please let the FEMA inspector know you have a private well and/or septic system that may have been damaged by the storm. If you have registered and your house has already been inspected, you should call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621- 3362 for instructions on how to appeal.

What if my original application was denied?

Every applicant may appeal FEMA’s decision. Appeals must be submitted in writing within 60 days of the date of FEMA’s letter determining eligibility. Survivors of February’s severe winter storms in Texas who registered with FEMA may have received a determination letter regarding eligibility for assistance. Read the letter carefully. It may not be the final answer. FEMA may simply need additional information or documentation to process your application. If you have questions or need to speak about your eligibility status, call 800-621-3362, open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., CDT. Multilingual operators are available.

Applicants can appeal a FEMA determination, to do so, you need to submit supporting information along with a letter describing in detail the reason (or reasons) you are appealing.

You should include your full name, FEMA application number and disaster number, pre-disaster primary residence address and current phone number and address on all submitted documents.

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