Renter Relief & Lodging Reimbursement Information
FEMA Advisory: FEMA-DR-4614-NJ
You Asked: I’m a renter, can I get assistance from FEMA?
Renters in Bergen, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties who had damage, losses or are unable to live in their homes after Hurricane Ida, may be eligible for help from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
- Question: I am a renter: can I apply for assistance with FEMA?
- Answer: Yes, renters may apply for disaster assistance with FEMA. If you have renter’s insurance, you should call your insurance provider to file a claim. If you are insured, you must provide information from your insurance which may include a settlement or denial.
- Question: As a renter, what types of help could I be eligible for?
- Answer: FEMA may provide financial assistance to pre-disaster renters to rent alternate temporary housing if they are displaced from their primary residence . Rental Assistance is intended to cover the monthly rent amount (including lot rent, if applicable) and cost of essential utilities (i.e., gas, electric, water, oil, trash, and sewer), excluding telephone, cable, TV, or internet service for the housing unit.
- Question: Can I use my rental assistance grant to stay in a hotel/motel?
- Answer: The funds can be used to stay in another temporary place to live, which includes a hotel/motel. FEMA awards eligible applicants initial Rental Assistance based on the Fair Market Rent (FMR) where the pre-disaster residence is located and the number of bedrooms the household requires.
- Question: I have been staying in a hotel and paying for it myself, can I get reimbursed for the costs?
- Answer: FEMA may provide lodging expense reimbursement for applicants who incur out-of-pocket temporary lodging expenses due to damage that affects the habitability of their primary residence. Eligible lodging expenses may include the cost of the room and taxes charged by a hotel or other lodging provider.
- Question: My personal property was damaged, is there financial help available for my losses?
- Answer: Applicants who do not qualify for a loan from the SBA may be eligible for assistance for the SBA-dependent category. SBA-dependent ONA includes Personal Property Assistance, Renters may also qualify for assistance for essential personal property and other disaster-related expenses. These may include replacement or repair of necessary personal property, such as furniture, appliances, clothing, textbooks or school supplies; replacement or repair of tools and other job-related equipment; vehicle repair; and medical/dental bills.
- Question: Does help from FEMA have to be paid back?
- Answer: No. FEMA Assistance is a grants, and don’t have to be repaid. They are not taxable income and won’t affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- Question: How do I apply for FEMA assistance?
- Answer: Survivors with disaster related damages, in counties designated for Individual Assistance can apply with FEMA for assistance, online at www.disasterassistance.gov by using the FEMA mobile app or by telephone at 1-800-621-3362. If you use a relay service, such as a videophone, InnoCaption, or CapTel, give FEMA the number for that service.
Lodging Expense Reimbursement
What is Lodging Expense Reimbursement (LER)?
FEMA may be able to provide reimbursement to eligible disaster survivors for out-of-pocket lodging expenses that are not covered by insurance benefits such as additional living expenses or loss of use. To be considered for LER your pre-disaster primary residence must be unlivable, inaccessible or affected by an extended disaster-caused utility outage.
You may be considered for LER from FEMA if you have not received lodging assistance from any other source (e.g., voluntary organization) for the same dates the applicant is requesting LER.
By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits of insurance. Insurance policies may include Additional Living Expenses or Loss of Use coverage, which is a benefit that provides supplemental money to cover increased costs, including temporary housing, when you are unable to live in your home due to a loss covered by insurance.
How Do I Get Reimbursed?
To be considered for LER, eligible applicants must submit verifiable lodging receipts or itemized statements with the following information: The name of the applicant or co-applicant, information for the lodging provider (name, address and phone number), dates of occupancy and the amount of expenses incurred.
Applicants can upload their receipts online to their DisasterAssistance.gov account. Include the following information on all documents: Your name; last four digits of your social security number; your nine-digit FEMA applicant number; and the FEMA disaster number DR-4614-NJ.
To upload documents or create an online account follow these steps:
- Visit DisasterAssistance.gov
- Login or create your online account
- Select the correspondence tab
- Select upload center
- Follow the online instructions
Survivors can also submit through standard mail at: P.O. Box 10055 Attn: FEMA Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055; or Fax documents to (800) 827-8112 (Cover sheet required).