Receipts May Be The Answer To Reimbursement For FEMA Other Needs Program

STATE – New Jersey residents who did not receive reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for items purchased in direct response to Hurricane Irene may qualify under a separate FEMA grant program: Other Needs Assistance (ONA).

The purpose of ONA is to provide financial assistance to individuals and households who have no applicable insurance and may have been denied by the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance program.

“Even those who qualify for ONA sometimes receive a letter from FEMA stating they are ineligible for reimbursement because the required information was not available at the time of the physical inspection,” said William L. Vogel, federal coordinating officer for FEMA. “Homeowners and renters need to know that FEMA may be able to reimburse them for disaster-related purchases, but will have to provide receipts dated Aug. 27 through Sept. 5 documenting the purchases.”

Disaster-related items eligible for reimbursement may include:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Chainsaws
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Weather radios

“If you haven’t registered yet or have registered but still need to find the required receipts, we urge that you do so now,” said FCO Vogel. “Remember, lost receipts can often be replaced at the original place of purchase.”

For those appealing the denial, copies of the receipts (not the originals), along with the applicant’s name and FEMA registration number should be sent to:

FEMA – Individuals & Households Program
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782

Fax requests for reimbursement to 1-800-827-8112, Attn: FEMA Individuals & Households Program, DR-4021-NJ. The ONA helpline is 1-866-645-5410.

Anyone who has not yet registered for assistance should go to, or or call FEMA toll-free, 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). Those with access or functional needs and who use a TTY may call 1-800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 1-800-621-3362. Telephone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; multilingual operators are available.

The deadline for registration is Oct. 31.

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