HONOLULU (KHON2) –Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance (IA) Program for Kilauea survivors will end on Monday, November 11, 2019.
The program is intended to help residents get back on their feet following a disaster.
Specifically, it provides financial and direct services to eligible individuals and households who had uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses as well serious needs for 18 months.
A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) was opened in June 2018 to help Hawaii County residents who suffered losses from the Kilauea eruptions and earthquakes apply for disaster assistance.
The DRC was staffed by representatives from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, State and County and voluntary agencies to assist survivors of the Kilauea eruption.
In August 2019, FEMA with support from the County of Hawaii deployed assistance specialists to Hawaii Island to meet with recipients of disaster aid who received letters indicating they owe a federal debt following the 2018 K?lauea eruption.
Recognizing that a disaster involving lava presents unique challenges, special efforts have been made between the County, State and Federal agencies to address issues regarding standards to prove occupancy, as well as other concerns that may have resulted in ineligibility for assistance.
At this time:
-FEMA continues to process applications and has already awarded nearly $12.5 Million to more than 1,000 households.
-In total, 1,010 households received financial assistance including 992 receiving housing assistance, with 186 receiving the maximum allowable award, and 247 receiving other needs assistance.
-The total approved to date under the Individuals and Households Program has been $12,493,933.78, including $11,093,420.30 for housing assistance and $1,400,513.48 for other needs assistance.
-FEMA referred 1,809 households to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for low interest disaster home loans. 577 completed an application and 277 were approved for $28,265,900.00. SBA approved an additional $14,488,700.00 in disaster loans for 102 local businesses.
-Local nonprofits continue to provide assistance to disaster survivors. One example is the Kilauea Hui, a coalition of nonprofits including Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Hawaiian Community Assets, and others meets regularly to assist survivors with unmet needs in collaboration with the disaster case management program at Neighborhood Place of Puna. Financial donations are still being accepted to support their efforts.
-The FEMA-funded disaster case management grant program has been authorized until May 2020. This program makes case managers available to help survivors develop their recovery plan and find community resources that might help. For assistance, contact Neighborhood Place of Puna at 808-965-5550.
-FEMA applicants are reminded that Monday, November 11 is the deadline for submitting any missing documentation. To check the status of an application and upload documents visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362 until 6 p.m. daily.