Tampa Bay residents can apply to FEMA for Hermine relief

floods Gulfport Hermine
Streets closed for flooding in Gulfport, Florida, before Tropical Storm Hermine. By Seán Kinane - 21 August 2016.

On Friday, Governor Rick Scott announced that Floridians who lost jobs as a result of the flooding and storms during Hurricane Hermine may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (more information below); in addition, residents who suffered wind or flood damage during the storm several weeks ago can apply to FEMA for assistance.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams will be in Pinellas County over the weekend.

FEMA spokesperson John Mills says residents of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Levy, Dixie and Leon counties are eligible. People with storm damage can register by calling 800-621-3362 or online at DisasterAssistance.gov.


“As you know, President Obama signed a Total Disaster Declaration related to hurricane Hermine and the flooding and high winds that caused damage. So, FEMA is here to help provide disaster assistance to individual households, whether you’re a homeowner or a renter.
“People may be able to receive disaster assistance that they would not have to repay. Money in the form of grants. That could help people make some basic home repairs to help their primary residence stay sanitary and functional.
“They also might be able to receive money for temporary rental assistance, if they need to rent a place to live, temporarily, while their repairs are made because their home is not safe to live in.
“Money may also be available to pay for other needs, not covered by insurance, such as replacing personal property that may have been damaged or destroyed in the storm.
“So, there are two ways to register with FEMA. The first way to register with FEMA is by calling 1-800-621-3362. That’s 1-800-621-FEMA. Some people like to call because you really do talk to a real person,who will listen to exactly what you and your family went through in the storm and ask you some questions about what type of damage your home sustained, what your living situation is now and try to figure out the best way to get you disaster assistance to help your family get on the road to recovery. The other way to register is online at: www.disasterassistance.gov Some people prefer to register that way.
“You don’t have to register in both places, just one.
“Eight counties in Florida are designated and those are: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Dixie, Levy and Leon.”

Email from Governor Scott’s office:

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that individuals who have lost jobs as a result of severe storms and flooding during Hurricane Hermine may be entitled to Disaster Unemployment Assistance. On September 28, 2016, the federal government approved Governor Scott’s request for a major disaster declaration for Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco and Pinellas counties, clearing the way for use of Disaster Unemployment Assistance funds for individuals affected by the storm.

Gov. Scott said, “Following Hurricane Hermine, I spoke with many Floridians and business owners who were severely impacted by the storm, and Disaster Unemployment Assistance will provide much-needed assistance to these individuals and their families. We will continue to provide every available resource to our communities as we work together to rebuild and recover from this storm.”

Disaster Unemployment Assistance, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, assists individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of a federally declared disaster and who do not qualify for regular reemployment assistance benefits.  The program also covers self-employed individuals, owners of farms and ranches, farm and ranch workers, as well as fishers and others who are not normally covered by state reemployment assistance benefits.

DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “Disaster Unemployment provides help to individuals who lost their job through no fault of their own because of Hurricane Hermine. This assistance will bridge the gap for individuals as they get back on their feet.”

Applicants must file a request for disaster benefits by October 31, 2016. Applicants must be legal U.S. residents and must have been working in or residing in Citrus, Dixie, Hernando, Hillsborough, Leon, Levy, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

The individual must:  (1) have become unemployed as a direct result of the disaster or (2) be unable to reach the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster or (3) have been scheduled to begin work and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of the disaster or (4) have become the major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of the disaster or (5) be unable to work because of an injury (which we also recommend contacting an injury attorney) caused directly by the disaster.

To file a Disaster Unemployment claim, go to http://connect.floridajobs.org or call 1-800-681-8102.


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