University of Illinois Extension
Disaster Resources - University of Illinois Extension

Before You Call For Federal Disaster Relief

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If you plan to apply for federal disaster aid, you need to begin the process with a teleregistration. This is simply phoning in your application information for federal disaster assistance programs. The telephone number is: 1-800-462-9029. The TDD (for the hearing impaired) number is: 1-800-462-7585.

The types of assistance you may qualify for are: Disaster (housing), Small Business, Individual or Family Grants (available only to those meeting income requirements).

Before calling teleregistration have the following information ready:

  1. Indicate immediate emergency needs so you can be directed to the appropriate agencies/services.
  2. Let them know if you have been evacuated, and if you do not have a damage assessment at this time.
  3. Social Security Number (SSN). If you are calling for someone else, you will be asked your name, SSN, and name and SSN for the claimant.
  4. The address and diretions to the damaged property.
  5. Home telephone number. If you are not living at the damaged property address, you will need to have two telephone numbers where you can be reached. You will also be asked for a time you can be reached. This is very important because the damage verifier is usually calling from a car phone and you cannot call him/her back.
  6. Date of Loss--month and day
  7. Current gross family income
  8. If the damaged property is a primary residence or secondary residence.
  9. Insurance information. Do you have flood insurance, a homeowner's or a dwelling policy. Amounts of insurance coverage. Name of the insurance company; agent's name and phone number.
  10. A general idea of the damage--if an automobile, the name of the title holder, year and model, and make, if the loss is to a home, damage to personal property, etc. If the loss is to a business, what type of business.
  11. Before you terminate the teleregistration, be sure you ask for a Control Number--This is the number that will be assigned to your loss/claim. If you don't obtain this number or have misplaced this number, call the HELP LINE number assigned to the disaster.

Source: Public Information Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency. Issued by Holly Hunts, Extension Specialist in Consumer Economics. February 1995.

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