Hurricane Ian: FEMA generator reimbursement requirements

Individuals who purchased or rented a generator as a result of Hurricane Ian may be eligible for a refund from FEMA if they meet certain requirements.

Hurricane Ian left a trail of destruction in its wake after making landfall in Florida on September 28. The storm flooded areas across the state, ripping homes from the rubble, destroying beachfront businesses and leaving more than 2 million people without power.

After a severe storm sweeps through a region, many people rely on generators to provide the energy they need until power is restored. Recent searches online show people wondering if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will offer refunds to people who have had to buy or rent a new generator because of Ian.

THE QUESTION

Will FEMA reimburse people who bought or rented a generator during Hurricane Ian?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, FEMA will reimburse individuals who purchased or rented a generator during Hurricane Ian, but certain eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify.

WHAT WE FOUND

Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, the President may issue two types of disaster declarations—emergency declarations and major disaster declarations. Both types of declarations authorize the President to provide supplemental federal disaster relief.

For example, the President can declare a major catastrophe of any natural event, including a hurricane, tornado, storm, fire, flood, or explosion, that “has caused damage so severe that it exceeds the combined capabilities of state and local governments.” exceeds responsiveness,” according to FEMA.

FEMA provides financial assistance to individuals and households experiencing certain miscellaneous expenses during a disaster under the Other Needs (ONA) provision of the Individual and Household Program (IHP). Eligible items must be purchased or rented after the incident to aid in disaster recovery.

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To qualify for individual assistance from FEMA, a state must receive a disaster declaration from the President. Areas in Florida affected by Hurricane Ian received this statement from President Joe Biden on September 29.

In an email, a FEMA spokesperson told VERIFY that some Florida hurricane survivors who purchased or rented a generator as a result of Hurricane Ian may be eligible for a refund. To qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Meets the general admission requirements for IHP;
  • The home is the applicant’s primary residence and is located in an area designated for Individual Assistance (IA);
  • The generator was purchased or leased due to an interruption in power service caused by a disaster declared by the President;
  • Proof of purchase or rental of the generator will be provided by the applicant;
  • The generator was purchased or rented to power a medically necessary device, including a medically necessary refrigerator; and
  • The applicant will provide a certificate from a health care provider stating that the generator is medically necessary.

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“Generator reimbursement claims are treated on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must demonstrate their entitlement by providing FEMA with a rental or purchase receipt and, if applicable, a statement from a medical provider stating the generator is medically necessary,” the spokesman said.

FEMA cannot provide reimbursement for equipment that was paid for by another source such as homeowners, flood, or other types of insurance. Duplicate payments or refunds for assistance from insurance or other sources are prohibited by law.

Florida homeowners and renters affected by Hurricane Ian who live in areas designated for individual assistance may be eligible for assistance from FEMA. These areas include Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. To apply, visit www.disasterassistance.gov/ or call 800-621-3362 between 7 am and 11 pm Eastern Time. You can also apply through the FEMA mobile app.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Alley Einstein

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