In light of the recent wildfires that have wreaked havoc across Hawaiʻi, Lether Law Group has received numerous inquiries from individuals, government agencies, and families seeking guidance on accessing/locating support. This guide is designed to address those questions by detailing the process to obtain assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Given the high demand for such aid, it is imperative for applicants to be well-informed about the process and eligibility criteria. Being prepared with the necessary information streamline your application and secure the assistance you need mor efficiently.
What is FEMA?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is a vital resource for citizens and emergency personnel across the nation. Its mission is to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards, including wildfires. If you’ve suffered losses that are not covered by your insurance, FEMA may provide reimbursement.
Am I Eligible for FEMA Assistance?
Becoming eligible for FEMA assistance requires satisfying specific criteria:
- Identity Verification: You must be a United States citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified non-citizen and have a valid Social Security Number.
- Insurance Examination: It’s essential to understand that FEMA will not cover disaster-related needs if they are already covered by insurance or other programs.
- Ownership or Occupancy Verification: You must confirm that the disaster-damaged home is your primary residence.
How Do I Apply for FEMA Assistance?
Applying for FEMA assistance is a process that takes approximately 20 minutes. Here’s how to get started:
- Prepare your Information: Gather your Social Security Number, annual household income, contact details, insurance information, and bank account details where the financial assistance will be deposited.
- Contact your Insurance Company: It’s advisable to speak with your insurance company to confirm your insurer and policy information. For more information on insurance documentation, click here
- Begin the Application: Start your application online at DisasterAssistance.gov OR use the FEMA mobile app. If you need assistance with the application, call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (open 24 hours aday/7 days a week – Multilingual operators are available)
- Submit and Track your Claim: Once your claim is submitted, you can follow the provided instructions to track its status.
How Lether Law Can Help
Lether Law Group has specialized in large first-party property losses for over 35 years, including multiple large fire loss and wildfire claims. Thomas Lether is approved as a FEMA Regional Counsel and has experience in significant natural disaster claims.
If you have any additional questions regarding your insurance policy or any of the information provided above, please feel free to reach out to our office. Lether Law Group proudly employs attorneys who are born and raised on the islands of Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island. We are more than happy to provide you with guidance on understanding your specific policy coverages.