FEMA Expands Public Assistance for Counties Hit by Hurricane Michael

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved Gov. Rick Scott’s request for additional Public Assistance (PA) for 10 counties impacted by Hurricane Michael last month.

Scott’s office announced on Thursday that Okaloosa and Walton Counties are approved for PA for the following of FEMA’s categories: debris removal, emergency protective measures, road systems and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities and parks, recreational and other items.

Franklin, Holmes, Jefferson, Leon, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington Counties were approved for road systems and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and contents, public utilities and parks, recreational and other items. Those counties had already been approved by FEMA for individual assistance and PA for debris removal and emergency protective measures.

FEMA also weighed in on assistance for Hurricane Michael survivors on Wednesday.

There are several critical deadlines looming for Hurricane Michael survivors,” FEMA noted before listing several upcoming deadlines.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Survivors in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington Counties have until Dec. 7th to apply. The purpose of disaster unemployment assistance is to help workers whose primary incomes are lost or interrupted by Hurricane Michael. It differs from regular state unemployment insurance because it provides benefits to people who are self-employed, farmers, loggers and employees who work on commission.

Blue Roof program: Deadline to submit a Right of Entry (ROE) is Nov. 16. Homeowners must sign a ROE form to allow government employees and contractors onto their property to assess damage and install the temporary covering.

“Even if you have insurance, you can apply for disaster assistance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments, but you may receive help after your claims have been settled. The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is Monday, Dec. 10,” FEMA noted. “Applying for disaster assistance is a two-step process. First, register for assistance, then submit your SBA disaster loan application. There is no charge to apply for the loan, and if approved, there is no obligation to accept it. The deadline to apply for SBA is Monday, Dec. 10.

“Federal disaster aid does not affect other government benefits, such as Social Security and Medicaid, and the aid is not considered taxable income. Survivors must use the name that appears on their Social Security card and have insurance and disaster-damage information available at registration,” FEMA added.

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