• Text Size:
  • A
  • A
  • A

Applying for Individual Assistance from FEMA

The application deadline to register with FEMA expired on December 13, 2016. However, applications may still be accepted with justification explaining the circumstances, if any, which prevented you from meeting the original filing deadline date. Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

FEMA LogoHomeowners, renters and business owners must register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to be eligible for federal disaster assistance for Hurricane Matthew damages and losses in South Carolina.

Disaster survivors may register in any of the following ways:

  • Online at DisasterAssistance.gov;
  • On the FEMA Mobile App;
  • Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA)
  • Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362
  • People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585;
  • The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week
  • Multilingual operators are available.

Disaster Recovery Centers are planned to open in the near future in the declared counties.

Survivors should contact their insurance company to file an insurance claim. FEMA is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who are underinsured may be eligible for help.

The assistance process is faster if only one person per household registers with FEMA, preferably the head of the household. FEMA's Individual Assistance program applies only to damage to the survivor's primary residence. Damage to secondary homes is not eligible.

The following information is needed when registering with FEMA:

  • Social Security number;
  • Address of the location where the damage occurred;
  • Current address;
  • Current telephone number;
  • Insurance information;
  • Total household annual income;
  • Routing and account number for your checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into your bank account);
  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.

Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs. Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or benefits from other agencies or organizations.
Survivors who cannot afford to repay an SBA loan may be eligible for additional grant assistance. They will have to submit an SBA loan application before that can be determined.

 After registering with FEMA, applicants will be contacted by a FEMA-contracted housing inspector to schedule an appointment to inspect the house and determine the extent of damage. An adult must be present for the inspection. When registering, applicants should provide a contact telephone number where they always can be reached or receive messages.

Homes that remain flooded cannot be inspected until the water recedes.
FEMA assistance is limited to the amount necessary to make the home safe, sanitary and secure for the number of occupants who live there. The cost of repairing additional spaces such as family rooms, dens or extra bedrooms is not considered. Repair cost estimates are based on standard material and construction costs.

FEMA Toolkit


What to Expect After South Carolina Survivors Call FEMA

FEMA Decisions Can Be Appealed PDF icon

FEMA Media Release: Know the Facts, Ignore the Rumors About Federal Assistance During Hurricane Matthew Recovery