If You Need Help After Irma, FEMA Can Still Help

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — For those still struggling to recover from Hurricane Irma, there is still time to get help from FEMA.

While the deadline to register for benefits is over, households who previously qualified can still get more help.

What type of help?

“People can stay in touch with FEMA, update their information, and even request additional assistance. The key was getting registered before the deadline last week,“ said FEMA’s John Mills at a disaster relief center at the Kendall campus of Miami Dade College.

He went on, “There has been tremendous recovery progress in South Florida, but some people are still facing challenges, so we want to be here for them.”

One of those people was Benny Livett who came into the center looking for more funds to fix his home after the original estimate came up short.

“Irma took out all the trees and everything and messed my roof up,” Lovett said.

He said his insurance won’t cover all the costs.

Rental or temporary hotel help is still available for those in homes deemed unsafe. If you’re still not able to return to your home, you can ask FEMA to extend their rental assistance. Eligibility is determined on a case by case basis.

If you had trouble finding a place to rent and you took part in their temporary hotel program, you can apply for an extension that will last until December. This is also determined on a case by case basis.

FEMA has already given about $422 million in aid to South Florida households. This includes grants for losses not covered by insurance. That money has already been giving to homeowners and renters.

On top of that, the agency also paid out nearly $400 million in flood insurance claims.

In Florida, FEMA has already paid out more than $935 million in grants for losses not covered by insurance

For business owners, FEMA has approved about $781 million in loans for the state.

Small businesses that were or still are closed by Irma may still apply for low-cost recovery loans.

“Your bills kept coming in, so you can borrow money, up to $2 million to cover those expenses,“ said Karlie Robinson of the Small Business Administration.

You are not required to visit FEMA centers in person to get help.

You can call FEMA’s helpline at 1-800-621-3362 before visiting any of their disaster recovery centers open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Click here to find the nearest recovery center. 

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