Assistance for Individuals

Assistance from FEMA

In order to qualify for disaster assistance for individuals from FEMA, Hamilton County must be covered by a Presidential disaster declaration and your losses must have occurred here. Secondly, if you have insurance, you must file a claim with your insurance company. Also see FEMA’s fact sheet, Is disaster assistance still available if I have insurance?

Two types of disaster assistance, “Housing Needs” and “Other than Housing Needs,” are available to individuals, families and businesses in an area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance. See FEMA’s website for additional information on this program: http://www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm.

State of Ohio Individual Assistance Program

The State Individual Assistance (IA) Program is designed to provide grants for disaster-related unmet needs to individuals and families that have uninsured essential private property damages or losses. The disaster must be declared by local government(s), the Governor and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and would not be declared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency developed the State IA Program in 2000 and it was authorized by the General Assembly in the 2002-2003 budget. The State IA Program does not duplicate disaster assistance from any other available sources, but fills a gap for those who have serious and essential unmet needs or losses not addressed by insurance, the SBA, other state agencies and voluntary agencies/non-governmental organizations.

Once the Program is available, an applicant in an eligible county must first apply for a home/personal property disaster loan from the SBA and be denied or determined ineligible for a loan. After being declined by SBA, the applicant may then complete the registration process for the State IA Program.

The damages or losses must fall within the following categories and meet all associated eligibility criteria: Real Property (damage to an owner-occupied residence); Personal Property (damage to essential major appliances and furniture of a homeowner or renter). Not all damages or losses caused by the disaster may qualify for reimbursement. Eligibility determination for an award is based on site inspections for real and personal property as well as verification of requested documentation.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can make federally subsidized loans to repair or replace homes, personal property or businesses that sustained damages not covered by insurance. The Small Business Administration can provide three types of disaster loans to qualified homeowners and businesses:

  • Home Disaster Loans are applicable to homeowners and renters to repair or replace disaster-related damages to home or personal property.
  • Business Physical Disaster Loans are applicable to business owners to repair or replace disaster-damaged property, including inventory, and supplies.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide capital to small businesses and to small agricultural cooperatives to assist them through the disaster recovery period.

For many individuals, the SBA disaster loan program is the primary form of disaster assistance. Click to learn how to apply for SBA disaster loan assistance.