How do I get help with repairing my home or applying for disaster assistance?

This page provides disaster survivors with important information they should know when seeking assistance from FEMA and other programs. Many legal help organizations join forces after a major disaster to set up disaster legal help hotlines to answer questions about legal issues, including FEMA claims.

  • If a disaster legal help hotline has been set up in your area, you can visit the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services Program's page here.
  • Call 888-743-5749, a national hotline to connect disaster survivors with their local disaster legal help hotlines.
  • ABA Free Legal Answers is an online brief service clinic.  When a disaster hits a state, the Free Legal Answers website frequently offers free legal advice to survivors.
  • If you received a letter from FEMA saying that you are ineligible for disaster relief or that your application is incomplete, you have the right to appeal the decision. Your ability to appeal is time-sensitive. You only have 60 days from the date on the decision letter to appeal. Visit for an interactive interview tool that will help you create an appeal letter and a file request letter. Check here for Frequently Asked Questions about the appeals process.

Figuring Out FEMA

'Figuring Out FEMA' is a friendly guide that explains FEMA's general disaster relief assistance process.

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Important Deadlines
Apply for FEMA assistance = 60 days from the date of disaster declaration.
Appeal Your FEMA Decision = 60 days from the date of FEMA’s decision letter
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FEMA Appeals FAQs

This is a list of commonly asked questions about the appeals process and other very important information.

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Create Your FEMA Appeal Letter

If you need to appeal a FEMA denial on your own, use this interactive form to appeal FEMA and to create a letter requesting a copy of your file.

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FEMA Claims: Common Errors

This video helps disaster victims and explains how to avoid 5 common mistakes in filing a FEMA claim.

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SBA Loans

You are no longer required to apply for an SBA loan to be eligible for certain types of FEMA assistance (for disasters that occur on or after 3/22/24).

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Find Your Disaster

Learn if federal disaster help is available in your area by using FEMA’s disaster search tool.

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Find your local Disaster Recovery Center (DRC)

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are accessible facilities and mobile offices you can visit to learn more about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs. The DRC Locator helps you find the hours, services, and locations of DRCs near you.

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