When disaster strikes, it’s imperative to seek assistance where you can in order to recover your business, home, and family. The federal government offers a range of solutions and programs to help get you back on your feet. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the main programs that you can apply for.
Casualties, Disasters, and Theft Tax Relief Program
When you’re a taxpayer who’s a victim of a presidentially declared disaster, you can seek tax relief for casualty losses that are caused by hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and more.
Business Physical Disaster Loans
Business and nonprofit owners who are victims of a declared disaster and who have encountered physical damage from the disaster can apply for financial disaster assistance through the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Program
When businesses and individuals need help recovering from a disaster, or they are located in an area declared a major disaster area, there are special tax law provisions that can help in financial recovery. Those affected in the disaster area are able to seek a quicker refund by claiming losses on their prior year’s tax return, or they can claim losses in the year it happened. The IRS also may give additional time to file taxes as needed.
Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program
The Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CPP) was established to help communities and individuals recover from a major disaster by way of outreach services and psycho-educational services. Counseling assistance, emotional support, and coping strategies are offered to survivors in order to help them recover from the disaster.
Disaster Legal Services
Disaster Legal Services (DLS) was established to provide legal assistance to those in major disaster areas who are low-income and are otherwise unable to secure their own legal services to assist in needs related to the disaster. DLS functions through the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association to provide free legal help. This assistance can help with insurance claims, loss of life and property, home repairs, landlord issues, wills, and powers of attorney.
If you’re a farmer who has a crop or livestock loss that stems from natural disaster, you can apply for assistance through the Crop Insurance program administered by the USDA.
Disaster Resources for Older Americans
This program is administered by the Administration on Aging. It has a wide variety of services and programs available for seniors who have been affected by a disaster.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program
When individuals are unemployed due to presidentially declared disasters, the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program can help. Employed and self-employed individuals must experience job interruption as a result of the disaster in order to qualify. Those who cannot reach their place of business, who experienced damage to their place of work, who no longer have employment, who cannot work due to injury resulting from the disaster, or who became head of household when a family member died resulting from the disaster can apply.
Home Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims
For individuals affected by a disaster, the Home Mortgage Insurance program was developed to help survivors recover by assisting them obtaining mortgages to establish or reestablish themselves as homeowners in an attempt to recover.
Home and Property Disaster Loans
Low-interest and long-term loans are available to homeowners and renters in disaster areas. This assistance is provided by the US Small Business Administration. Assistance and loans can be applied for to repair or replace residences affected by disaster and renters can obtain loans to replace damaged personal property.
Individuals and Households Program
The Individuals and Households Program (IHP) was established to help those affected by the disaster with necessary expenses that cannot otherwise be met through other disaster assistance programs.
National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is offered to help renters, business owners, and homeowners purchase federally backed flood insurance in order to cover the costs of repairing flood damage to homes and buildings and replacing items lost.