Cook County residents affected by the severe storms and flooding between June 29 – July 2, 2023, may now call or go online to register for disaster assistance from FEMA.
The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is Monday, October 16, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. CT. You must register with FEMA to receive assistance.
How to Apply
If you have insurance coverage, first file a claim. If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, contact FEMA by going online to disasterassistance.gov, downloading the FEMA app or calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service. When calling the FEMA Helpline, multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish and 3 for other languages).
Federal assistance may include temporary lodging, basic home repairs and other disaster-related expenses.
Have the following information ready when you register with FEMA:
- 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 (or the social security number of a minor child in your household, if you’re applying on their behalf).
- A general list of damage and losses
- Banking information if you choose direct deposit
- If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name
When registering, one member of a household needs to comply with citizenship criteria. That means a minor child who is a citizen, non-citizen national or qualified non-citizen can have a parent or guardian who is not eligible apply for assistance on the child’s behalf.
What to Expect After You Apply
A FEMA inspector may call you to set up a time and date to perform the inspection at the damaged address. If you have filed for assistance and receive a call from an out of state number, pick it up. Be sure to have your application number available.
During the inspection inspectors will:
- Observe social distancing guidelines
- Show their credentials
- Ask to see a photo ID
- Ask to see documents to verify the home ownership or occupancy if FEMA has been unable to verify
- Walk around the interior and exterior of your home if feasible
- Document damage
Inspectors WON'T decide if you will receive assistance, ask for money, bank account information or credit card information. Residents can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to verify a FEMA visit is legitimate.
Within 10 days after the inspectors visit, you will:
- Receive a letter of electronic correspondence explaining FEMA's decision
- If you are determined eligible for assistance, you may receive a U.S. Treasury check or direct deposit
FEMA is Also Going Door to Door
Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams from FEMA are also going door-to-door in Cook County communities, helping disaster-impacted residents navigate the federal assistance process.
These teams will be visiting homes, businesses and nonprofit organizations in affected areas to help residents register for assistance, identify and address immediate and emerging needs, and make referrals to other local, state and voluntary agencies for additional support.
DSA teams will never ask for or accept money and will always be wearing a FEMA identification badge with a photograph. A FEMA shirt, vest or jacket is not proof of identity. While helping someone register, they will ask for personal information, including social security number, annual income and bank information. Residents are encouraged to ask for identification before providing any personal information. They can also call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to verify a FEMA visit is legitimate.
Residents do not need to wait for a FEMA representative to knock on their door to file for assistance. Visit disasterassistance.gov, download the FEMA app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 today.
How to register for disaster assistance (English)
Disaster assistance citizenship eligibility (English & Español)
Three ways to apply for disaster assistance (English)
Tres formas de solicitar asistencia por desastre (Español)
What to expect after you apply for FEMA assistance (English)
Qué debe esperar después de solicitar la asistencia de FEMA (Español)
For more information, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4728