Federal Assistance

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Federal Assistance Overview

On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, President Joseph R. Biden approved five New Mexico counties to receive grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster caused by wildfires and straight- line winds.

The counties are: Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel, and Valencia

What you need to know about possible federal assistance - Click Here

If you live in one of the New Mexico counties designated for assistance and your primary home is not safe, sanitary or livable due to damage from the wildfires and straight-line winds, here’s what you need to know:

  • If uninsured, apply for assistance.
  • If you have insurance, file a claim with your insurance company first and then you may apply for FEMA assistance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments but may be able to help where homeowners or flood insurance did not. (FEMA does not cover insurance deductibles.)
  • While residents in all five affected counties can apply for disaster assistance, damage assessments can only be conducted in areas where wildfires are not ongoing. Lincoln and Valencia are currently the only counties not experiencing active fires.

The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.

SBA offers federal low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters.

  • Businesses of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair/replace disaster property damage.
  • Small businesses, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations may also borrow to help meet disaster caused working capital needs. The $2 million maximum applies to the combination of property damage and working capital loans.
  • If you are a homeowner or renter, FEMA may refer you to SBA. SBA disaster loans are the primary source of money to pay for repair or replacement costs not fully covered by insurance or other compensation.
  • Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence.
  • Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property, including vehicles.

 Homeowners and renters should submit their SBA disaster loan application, even if they are not sure if they will need or want a loan. If SBA cannot approve your application, in most cases we refer you to FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program for possible additional assistance.

How to Set Up a FEMA Online Account - Click Here

New Mexico residents affected by the wildfires in Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel and Valencia counties can make it easier to communicate with FEMA by creating an online account. You can upload documents and check the status of your application from anywhere with an internet connection.

First, if you have not registered with FEMA, you must either:

  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or
  • Visit disasterassistance.gov/.
  • To receive a link to download the FEMA app, which is available in English and Spanish:

You’ll need the following information to complete your registration:

  • Your Social Security number or the number of a minor child in the household who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National or Qualified Alien
  • Annual household income
  • Contact information (phone number, mailing address, email address, and the address of the damaged home)
  • Insurance Information (coverage, insurance company name, etc.)
  • Bank account information. (If you are eligible to receive financial assistance, the money can be deposited electronically in your account.)

To create an online disaster-assistance account:

  • Go to www.disasterassistance.gov/
  • Select the Create Account button at the bottom of the page and follow instructions. You must first verify your identity:
    1. Click Check Status on the Home page or from the Get Assistance menu.
    2. Click Create Account.
    3. Enter your date of birth and Social Security number.
    4. Answer four security questions to prove who you are.

You have two chances to confirm your identity. If you fail the second time, you get a message that says, “Your answers do not match our records.” If that happens, click Home and go from step 1 above to try again.

After your identity is verified, you may:

  1. Create a user ID and password.
  2. Enter an email address. This is the only way we can send you a PIN and you need that to access your account. A temporary PIN will be sent to the email address you entered. You should receive it within 24 hours.
  3. When you get your PIN, follow the instructions in the email to finish creating your account.

You can then upload your important documents in the Upload Center. This page takes you to the login if you are returning to add more documents: go.usa.gov/xUPX5.

You will need a secure access code to access your account. Since the code is valid for only one login session, it is more secure than a password or PIN that is reusable.

You can choose to get your code from a text message, an email, or a phone call. FEMA pulls the phone number(s) and email address from information you provided with your FEMA registration.

For help to create or access your account, call the Help Desk, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 800-745-0243.

When you call, you need to provide the following:

  • Your FEMA Registration ID; and
  • Your Social Security number or the number of a minor child in the household who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-citizen National or Qualified Alien.

The Help Desk cannot provide information or guidance about your FEMA application. You must contact the FEMA Helpline for information about your application at 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. MDT, seven days a week. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

Verifying Home Ownership or Occupancy - Click Here

FEMA is required to verify you lived at the address in your application as your primary residence before providing most types of assistance. FEMA is also required to verify you owned your home before providing Home Repair or Replacement Assistance.
As part of our effort to make the disaster assistance process quicker and reduce the burden on applicants, we try to verify occupancy and ownership by using an automated public records search. If we cannot verify you lived in or owned the home that you listed in your application, we will ask you to provide documents to prove occupancy and/or ownership to help us determine if you are eligible for assistance.

Proof of Occupancy
FEMA accepts the following documents as proof you lived in your home before the declared disaster:

  • Lease or housing agreement
  • Rent receipts
  • Utility bill (electric, water/sewer, etc.)
  • Pay stub
  • Bank or credit card statement
  • Driver’s license, state issued identification card or voter registration card
  • Public official’s statement
  • Medical provider’s bill
  • Social service organization documents (e.g., Meals on Wheels)
  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Affidavits of Residency or other court documentation
  • Mobile home park documents
  • Letter or mail delivered to your address from an employer, public official, social service organization, local school or school district or mobile home park owner or manager

If you cannot provide the documentation listed, occupants of mobile homes or travel trailers may provide a self- declarative statement. Learn more about the full requirements by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.

Proof of Ownership
FEMA accepts the following documents as proof you owned your home before the declared disaster.

  • Deed or title
  • Mortgage documentation
  • Homeowners insurance documentation
  • Property tax receipt or bill
  • Manufactured home certificate of title
  • Home purchase contracts (excludes Rent to Own Contracts)
  • Last will and testament (with death certificate) naming you heir to the property
  • Receipts for major repairs or maintenance dated within five years prior to the disaster
  • Letter prepared after the disaster, from a mobile home park owner or manager or public official, that meets FEMA requirements
  • Most documents can be dated within one year prior to the disaster and/or within the 18-month period of assistance. However, your driver’s license, state-issued identification card or voter registration card must have been dated before the disaster happened and not have expired when you send a copy to FEMA.

If you cannot provide the documentation listed, owners of mobile homes, travel trailers, or those that inherited their home may provide a self-declarative statement. Learn more about the full requirements by calling the FEMA Helpline 800-621-3362.

Information to have ready to apply for assistance - Click Here

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your Social Security number, if available
  • A general list of damage and losses
  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name
Document Damage - Click Here

If it is safe to do so, start cleaning up now. Take photos to document damage and begin cleanup and repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to keep receipts from all purchases related to cleanup and repair.

Temporary Housing or Home Repairs Assistance - Click Here

Disaster assistance may include financial help with temporary lodging and home repairs along with other programs to assist families recovering from effects of the event.

Those in need of temporary housing, call the New Mexico State Fire Resource Hotline: 1-800-432-2080, Option #4.

Find Your Local USDA Office - Click Here

Apply for Federal Assistance today.

The fastest way to apply for disaster assistance:

  • There’s no wait — and it’s available 24/7.
  • Apply if you don’t have insurance, if you live in one of the five designated counties, and if your primary home suffered damage from the wildfires and straight-line winds.

If it’s not possible to apply online, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Lines are open from 7 m. to 11p.m. MDT, seven days aweek. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

Posters & Flyers

FEMA FAQ: What Expenses Can FEMA reimburse me for?

New Mexico residents affected by the wildfires who live in one of five designated counties for FEMA assistance and you incurred expenses for short-term lodging because you needed to evacuate or lost you your home due to the wildfires, may be eligible for reimbursement.

Can FEMA reimburse me for my lodging expenses?

FEMA may be able to provide reimbursement for out-of-pocket lodging expenses that are not covered by insurance benefits such as additional living expenses or loss of use. A resident’s pre-disaster primary residence must be unlivable, inaccessible or affected by an extended disaster-caused utility outage to be considered.

I have insurance, can I still get reimbursed for my lodging expenses?

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.

Lodging Expense Reimbursement (LER) from FEMA may only be considered if an applicant has not received lodging assistance from any other source (e.g., voluntary organization) for the same dates the applicant is requesting LER.

What information do I need to provide to seek reimbursement?

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.

Where can I upload my lodging receipts?

Applicants can upload their receipts online to their DisasterAssistance.gov account. All documents should include the registration number and DR-4652-NM. Download instructions on how to upload your documents. This information is available in multiple languages.

Applications may also be submitted through standard mail at:
P.O. Box 10055
Attn: FEMA
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

Or Fax 1-800-827-8112 (Cover sheet required)

    When can I expect to receive reimbursement for my eligible lodging expenses?

    LER requests are manually reviewed by processing staff. In larger scale disasters, it can take one to two months after receipts are submitted to receive reimbursement.

    Can I get reimbursed for my food or transportation costs while I’m staying at a hotel?

    No. Eligible expenses may include the cost of the room and taxes charged by a hotel or other lodging provider. This does not include costs for food, phone calls, transportation or other miscellaneous expenses.

    Can I get reimbursed for food lost due to the disaster?

    No. Food loss is not covered by FEMA’s Individual and Households Program (IHP). Voluntary Organizations in the disaster area may be able to help you with food needs.

    I am staying with friends or family; can I get reimbursed for any costs?

    Lodging expenses incurred while residing at the home of family or friends will not be reimbursed.

    Does FEMA reimburse/cover the loss of outbuildings or secondary residences?

    No. FEMA will provide disaster assistance to eligible applicants for a primary residence. FEMA will not consider more than one primary residence for a survivor and his/her spouse. FEMA defines your primary residence as the place where you live for more than six months of the year.

    U.S. Small Business Administration Helping Survivors

    You may apply for SBA disaster assistance call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

      For Individuals and Families:

      • Homeowners: up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate damage and up to $40,000 to replace personal property.
      • Renters: up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. Federal, low-interest disaster, loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters.

        For Businesses:

        • Property Damage: up to $2,000,000 to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were damaged or destroyed (available to businesses of any size and private, non-profit organizations).

        • Economic injury: only for small businesses and most private non-profit organizations suffering adverse financial impacts of the disaster (with or without property loss), up to $2,000,000 for working capital to help pay obligations until normal operations resume.