Get Financial Assistance After a Disaster

Learn about the aid available to disaster survivors from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA)

  • FEMA requirements
  • Applying to FEMA
  • FEMA appeals
  • SBA requirements
  • Applying to SBA

FEMA Resources

CountiesApplication DeadlineType of Help
Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Siskiyou and SonomaDecember 16FEMA can help survivors pay for rent, home repair/replacement and many other  disaster-related needs, including replacement or repair of vehicles, funeral expenses, medical or dental expenses and miscellaneous other costs. To be reimbursed by FEMA, survivors should photograph damage and save repair receipts.

Apply for FEMA Aid

Contact the FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline if you have questions about:

  • The help offered by FEMA.
  • How to apply for assistance.
  • Information in your account.

Call 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, 7 days a week:

  • 1-800-621-3362 (also for 711 & VRS)

If you have received a denial letter from FEMA saying that you are not eligible for disaster relief or that your application is incomplete, you have the right to appeal the decision within 60 days of receiving mailed notification.

This interactive FEMA appeal tool can help you fill out the required forms

Appeal your FEMA Case

The following FAQs answer common questions about immigration status and FEMA

FAQs

FEMA FAQs

What is FEMA?

FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA is responsible for coordinating and providing access to financial assistance programs in the event of a federally declared natural disaster. Government assistance programs coordinated by FEMA include: Housing Assistance, Home Repair Assistance, Small Business Administration Disaster loans, Farm Service Agency loans, Cora Brown Fund grants, and Other Needs Assistance.

What does FEMA’s disaster housing assistance program cover?

FEMA’s housing assistance program is intended to provide financial assistance to pay the cost of temporary housing, housing repairs, housing replacement, and/or replacement of household items.

Am I eligible to obtain disaster housing assistance from FEMA?

To be eligible to receive disaster housing assistance from FEMA you, or someone who lives with you, must be a United States citizen, qualified alien, or non-citizen national, your loss must have occurred at your main place of residence, you must not be insured or be under insured, you must not have an alternative rent-free housing option, and your home must have been damaged or destroyed as a result of a federally declared disaster.

How do I register with FEMA?

You can register with FEMA at your nearest Local Assistance Center, by calling 1-800-621-FEMA, or by going online to disasterassistance.gov. Keep in mind that you will need to provide certain documentation during registration. To find a list of the necessary documents you can go to disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/application-checklist.

Are there important deadlines related to the FEMA application process?

Yes. The current deadlines to complete and submit FEMA applications are as follows:

Housing Assistance –December 16, 2020

Home Repair Assistance –December 16, 2020

What can I do if FEMA denied my request for assistance?

If you have received a denial letter, you may appeal FEMA’s decision within 60 days of the date of FEMA’s decision. Further information regarding the appeals process can be located on your denial letter. If you would like assistance regarding a FEMA denial, please contact our office.

Where can I find more information about FEMA’s programs for fire survivors?

If you have questions about FEMA you can find more information by going to www.fema.gov or calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

Kendall Jarvis
Disaster Relief Attorney
Legal Aid of Sonoma County

Tomas Gonzalez
DisasterRelief Case Manager
Legal Aid of Sonoma County
Email

Kris Lopez
Disaster Relief Attorney
Legal Aid of Sonoma County
Email

Get Help

The following resources may help answer

any legal questions you have

California Free Legal Answers


Write your legal question relating to COVID-19 or the recent wildfires and a volunteer attorney will write you a free answer.

Go to Free Legal Answers

Law Help California


Find information about common legal problems. Get help finding legal aid organizations near you

LawHelpCA.org