Info Agency Main Banner Content


Individual Assistance

The Recovery Branch administers Individual Assistance as provided under federal law during a Presidential Declared Disaster (PL93-288 as amended by PL100-700). The Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program is part of the FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP). These programs provide disaster assistance in form of grants for home repair, rental assistance, and personal property lost or damaged during the disaster for homeowners and renters.

The ONA program works closely with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, local unmet needs groups, U.S. Small Business Administration, National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and various state and local agencies.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Recovery Toolbox
Damage Assessment Toolbox
Individual Assistance Program (IHP) Toolbox

Overview of the Individuals and Households Program (IHP)

Individual Assistance (IA)

PURPOSE: When disasters take place, the FEMA Individuals and Households Program provides grant money and services to people in the declared disaster area when the losses are not covered by insurance and property has been damaged or destroyed. The Individuals and Households Program and the Other Needs Assistance will not put you were you were before the disaster but can get you back to a safe and sanitary condition.

LIMITATIONS: IHP will not cover all of your losses from damage to your property (home, personal property, household goods) that resulted from the disaster. IHP is not intended to restore your damaged property to its condition before the disaster. In some cases, IHP may only provide enough money, up to the program limits, for you to return to a livable home.

IHP does not cover business-related losses that resulted from the disaster. However you may apply to the U.S. SBA for a Business Disaster Loan to help provide financing to get your business losses covered.

By law, IHP will not provide money to you for losses that are covered by your insurance.

While some money is available through IHP, most disaster aid from the Federal government is in the form of loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (USSBA), the United States Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program that must be repaid. Applicants to IHP may be required to seek help from USSBA first, before being considered for certain types of IHP help. If you are required to apply for an U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan and do not complete the process you may not be eligible for any further assistance through FEMA. You do not have to submit an USSBA loan application to be considered for FEMA rental assistance.

Types of Assistance

Temporary Housing (a place to live for a limited period of time): Money is available to rent a different place to live, or a government provided housing unit when rental properties are not available. You may receive Rental Assistance through FEMA for up to 18 months as long as you demonstrate a continued need for financial temporary housing assistance. You may be provided additional assistance, if: FEMA’s assistance program is still open, you have not yet reached the financial assistance maximum grant, and FEMA finds that you have a continued need.

Repair: Money is available to homeowners to repair damage from the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe, sanitary, and functional.

Replacement: Grant money is available to homeowners to replace their home destroyed in the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to help the homeowner with the cost of replacing their destroyed home.

Permanent/Semi Permanent Housing Construction: Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. This type of assistance is made available only in insular areas or remote locations specified by FEMA, where no other type of housing assistance is possible.

Other Needs Assistance (ONA): Grant money is available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage, and other expenses that are authorized by FEMA.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Recovery Toolbox

(Back to Top)

Damage Assessment Toolbox

Damage Assessment Procedures for Individual Assistance:

  • Situation is monitored by IDHS/EOC and has close contact with the county EOC
  • Once damaged areas are identified, surveyed and the results reported to IDHS, the county is contacted for a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) verification survey with the County and State IDHS officials.
  • If enough damages were found and enough damage has been verified in the state to be significant, County, State and Federal agencies conduct a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (JPDA).
  • FEMA will evaluate the information gathered and verified during the JPDA.  If the verified damage and impacts warrant federal assistance the Governor sends a letter to the President requesting a disaster declaration based on the JPDA findings.

(Back to Top)

Individual Assistance Program (IHP) Toolbox

How to Apply for Assistance (FEMA) - Go to Disaster Assistance

(Back to Top)