FEMA will be on location in Abbeville ready to help anyone who needs help.
Drive-thru FEMA assistance now at LSU Ag Center in Abbeville
Today, a drive-thru Disaster Recovery Center opened in Vermilion Parish.
Hurricane Laura survivors can now go to these locations to register for federal disaster assistance and get answers about their applications.
The address of the LSU Ag Center is 1105 West Port St.. Abbeville.
Vermilion Parish residents and evacuees who are living in the parish can drive in front of the LSU Ag Center Building and ask for help.
The people on location can help you register for FEMA assistance or help answer questions.
All COVID-19 protocols will be followed at this center which will operate from 7 am until 5 pm seven days a week.
Masks and face covering are required and those wanting to take advantage of the service will remain in their cars while a FEMA specialist retrieves your documents and scans them into your account. The documents will then be returned to your possession.
Hurricane Laura survivors can also register for federal disaster assistance at one of the 15 Mobile Registration Intake Centers (MRICs) FEMA has deployed in affected parishes, by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585), visiting disasterassistance.gov or by downloading the FEMA Mobile App by texting: ANDROID or APPLE to 43362, depending on your device. For MRIC locations, please visit the disaster website at www.fema.gov/disaster/4559
FEMA has put more than $104 million in the hands of survivors, including more than $71 million for housing assistance and nearly $34 million for other needs assistance.
Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has distributed nearly $35 million in low interest loans to help Louisiana hurricane survivors recover.
FEMA has registered 150,161 households for federal disaster assistance, so far.
FEMA cautions those receiving disaster assistance that funds can only be spent for disaster-related expenses. FEMA provides letters to survivors of Hurricane Laura that detail the approved uses for grants. These may include: repairs to make a home habitable, rental assistance for temporary housing, repair or replacement of a disaster-damaged essential vehicle, medical care for an injury caused by the disaster, replacing clothing, occupational tools and educational materials and moving and storage expenses related to the disaster.
Help spread the word: if anyone receives a letter saying they are ineligible for FEMA assistance, they should not be discouraged. They just may need to provide additional information. In fact, missing documentation and not enough damage to essential living spaces are among the most common reasons survivors can initially be found ineligible.
• Examples of missing documentation include an insurance settlement letter, proof of residence, proof of ownership of the property or proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster. The goal of FEMA housing assistance is to ensure people live in safe, sanitary and functional housing.
• FEMA assistance is not insurance. Your home may have suffered storm damage, but if it did not affect essential living space, you may not be determined eligible for assistance. FEMA considers the kitchen, bathrooms and occupied bedrooms as essential living spaces.
• If anyone thinks an error was made regarding their case, they have the right to appeal. The appeal must be in writing and include new information or documentation. Start the process and get assistance with their appeal letter by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).
• Disaster grants should not be used for travel, entertainment, regular living expenses or any discretionary expenses not related to the disaster. Survivors should keep receipts for three years.
If grant money is not used as outlined in the letter, you may have to repay FEMA and you could lose eligibility for further federal assistance that could become available later for your recovery.
• The deadline to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance varies depending on where you live. Residents who lost or had interrupted employment as result of Hurricane Laura may apply with Louisiana Workforce Commission at www.laworks.net or call 1-866-783-5567. The deadline to apply in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, and Vernon parishes has been extended to Sept.30; in Acadia, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermillion and Winn parishes, survivors must file by Oct. 2; and Morehouse and Union parishes have until Oct. 12.
• DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do NOT receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster.
• For information about SNAP benefits and eligibility, go to dcfs.la.gov.