FEMA or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was created in order to provide people with disaster relief funds. These funds are not meant to replace everything that was lost, only to provide people with enough support to get them in a safe, livable situation as soon as possible. The entire goal of FEMA is keep disaster victims safe, sanitary, and secure. Keeping FEMA’s primary goal in mind you may be wondering how exactly FEMA determines payout? This question along with others about the agency are all answered below. 

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Details of FEMA  

FEMA provides assistance when a range of different disasters occur. The disasters can be natural, man-made, or acts of terrorism. When you are in a disaster, after you have secured yourself and contacted your insurance company, you should check to see if you are eligible for FEMA assistance. Homeowners, renters, and business owners who are in designated or officially declared disaster zones are eligible for FEMA payouts. 

It is important to note that there is a time constraint on filing for FEMA. You have sixty days after the disaster occurred to file a FEMA claim. If you discovered additional damage after you filed an original claim, you are able to file a second claim. Potentially allowing you to receive a secondary payout. 

Remember that when you file your insurance claim, register with the Red Cross, or take part in any other disaster assistance program, you are not additionally applying for assistance from FEMA. You must separately file a claim with FEMA if you hope to get assistance from them.

How to Make a FEMA Claim

The process of making a FEMA claim can become extensive based on your situation. You are required to make an insurance claim first, and show the documentation the insurance company provides you with when registering with FEMA. The steps to file a claim and register with FEMA are as follows:

Step 1

Contact your insurance company to report your situation, losses, damage, and any other information the company needs to file a claim. If you need help contacting an insurance provider or do not have one, you can contact FEMA directly at 800-621-3362.

Step 2

Take photos and documentation of all damages both inside and around your property.

Step 3

An insurance adjuster will be assigned to you, and contact you within 24-48 hours to come view and document the damages to your property. The adjuster is only there to help properly evaluate and document the damage that has been done. The adjuster will not be able to tell you if you are approved, or declined for aid. As well as not being able to inform you on how much you would receive if you are eligible.

Step 4

Collect all documentation that relates to your damaged items. This includes photos, receipts, estimates, and any other paperwork on your damaged items. You should be using your insurance declaration page as a reference. The adjuster assigned to your case will also be able to help guide you in this process as well. 

Step 5

Lastly, you will need to get the insurance company’s approval for costs and repairs. In order to get paid you will also need to provide proof of loss. A proof of loss document includes your sworn statement about your losses and damages sustained, as well as supporting documentation to prove your claims. 

After you have filed a claim, you will enter a waiting period to get approved and then a waiting period for your funds. While this waiting period can be a little longer than what is comfortable for you, you do have the option of requesting partial funds immediately. 

How FEMA Determines Payout 

Is it possible to put a price put on what is lost in a disaster? How does FEMA determine payout? These are questions that FEMA has the unfortunate task of answering. While at many times people believe they did not receive enough money from FEMA, standard FEMA payouts are only meant to cover immediate necessary expenses that insurance does not. As well as to help each victim get back to a livable household as soon as possible. FEMA payouts are not meant to be the primary source of funds needed in order to rebuild your life. FEMA payouts are only meant to be supplementary to insurance payouts.

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When determining the amount of money  you will receive, FEMA looks at your actual loss. Actual loss is determined by adding all the physical damage done, and costs necessary to repair that damage. As well as including displacement costs for you while your home is being repaired. Now, FEMA does not write you a check for your actual loss. They use that number to determine what costs need to met as soon as possible to get you to a livable situation. Insurance is meant to cover the rest. FEMA assistance can be given to cover temporary housing, emergency home repairs, medical expenses, dental expenses and more. If you believe FEMA assistance could help you or your family do not hesitate to register with them.

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