Expect the unexpected, as the saying goes. However, no matter how many safety measures you apply in your life, you can never really expect the unexpected. Some events, like natural disasters, can turn your life upside down and you might not know what to do next. That’s alright! It’s a stressful time to deal with the aftermath of a natural disaster and the federal government recognizes this struggle. This is where natural disaster assistance programs can help you out. You can find assistance programs that offer immediate relief, legal aid, unemployment support, and more! This means that you don’t need to take a long time to get back on your feet. These programs will help you and your family get back on track without any hassle! We are going to tell you about the different federal natural disaster programs and how you can benefit from them!
Different Federal Natural Disaster Programs
No one can expect a natural disaster, even if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters. For example, this year, Illinois has experienced the most tornadoes in the United States so far. No one ever thinks that they will experience a natural disaster, even when they live in Delaware, which has had three tornadoes this year. This is where the federal government comes in–they help Americans everywhere, not just families who live in natural disaster-prone areas. Federal natural disaster assistance programs offer all kinds of help, including housing, legal aid, food, and more. Because they want to help those who need assistance the most, eligibility is necessary to figure out who can get benefits from these programs. We’re going to tell you about the different opportunities you can find from the federal government and the benefits they offer!
Disaster Legal Services
This federal program offers different kinds of legal aid that local lawyers normally offer. DLS focuses on helping those who have limited income and cannot get legal services based on their post-disaster needs. You should consider one thing, which is that the federal assistance program cannot offer direct assistance that results in a settlement that the lawyer gets a cut of. The services that DLS offers would be: helping with landlord issues, getting legal documents lost from a natural disaster, and assistance with home repair contracts.
The main focus of DLS is to help low-income individuals before or because of a presidentially-declared natural disaster. One of the conditions is that these people do not have the ability to receive suitable legal aid for themselves.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) partnered up with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association for them to offer legal aid. Legal aid needs to be offered for free to natural disaster survivors.
The Disaster Assistance And Emergency Relief Program
If you are interested to know more, then you can always look up online resources or contact this number 1-866-562-5227. This program offers a special tax law provision. This program particularly highlights locations that the federal government announces is a major disaster zone. If you want to receive benefits from this program, then you need to remain in a zone that the federal government declares as a major disaster area. The program supports taxpayers and businesses to get faster tax refunds from tax returns of the previous year because of the natural disaster effects.
How can you get faster tax refunds? The first thing to do would be to file an amended tax return. Generally, there are two ways you can reduce casualty losses. You can do it through your tax return on the year of the natural disaster. Another option would be filing an amended tax return to reduce loss the year before the natural disaster. Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could offer applicants more time to pay taxes and file their tax returns with Form 4684. This form declares a gain or deductible loss.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
If you are interested in receiving benefits from the Disaster Unemployment Insurance, then you should look for state announcements. When you lose a job as a result of a natural disaster, it can be absolutely terrifying. Similar to other federal benefits programs, the DUA has eligibility requirements that people need to meet. Applicants need to lose employment or cannot reach their workplace because of the disaster, or have an injury from the disaster. Another condition would be becoming the head of the household after the previous head of the household passed away from a natural disaster. For more information on eligibility requirements, you can call 1-877-872-5627 to get more information. Furthermore, those who lost employment because of a disaster that the president declared as a major disaster can receive unemployment benefits from this program.
The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, is a federal food assistance program that helps low-income families. There are specific eligibility requirements that applicants need to meet to qualify. D-SNAP works a little differently when it comes to benefits, eligibility requirements, and more. So, even if you don’t qualify for SNAP, you might still qualify for D-SNAP. This federal program focuses on supporting families that have limited income and have lost food due to a disaster. For D-SNAP to start operating, the president must make an Individual Assistance declaration.
To qualify for D-SNAP, you must have natural disaster-related expenses. That could be home/business repair, relocation, evacuation, medical bills, no access to your income, or temporary housing costs. So, if you’re paying rent for a temporary home because of a natural disaster, you might be eligible for D-SNAP!
The Final Verdict
Let’s be honest. No one ever wakes up and thinks “I’m ready to face a natural disaster” right? There is assistance out there that can make your struggle a little bit easier. It’s already hard to deal with the fact that you lost your home, your belongings, and possibly your job. That is why you should consider looking to the federal government for help. From legal aid to tax relief, you can find different programs that help natural disaster survivors. Since not everyone faces the same issue after a natural disaster, there are several programs that meet different needs. Your current situation will determine which opportunity is right for you. However, your best bet would be to stay updated on local and state resources to stay alert!