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Updated Haitian Creole version coming soon

WHAT BENEFITS CAN I APPLY FOR TODAY?
UPDATED NOVEMBER 1

FOOD ASSISTANCE

FOOD ASSISTANCE

Disaster SNAP benefits have been approved. Residents of the counties listed below can pre-register online for two months of food assistance benefits at the link below and then visit a registration site in person to complete their application. Broward and Miami-Dade sites will re-open November 7-9 at Hard Rock Stadium & BB&T Center.

 

 

To be eligible you must:

  • have food loss, damage to home or business, lost, reduced, or delayed income due to the hurricane, or hurricane-related expenses not expected to be reimbursed within the next month, like evacuation expenses.
  • have a household income & assets within the eligibility limits,
  • provide proof of identity, and
  • not be enrolled in SNAP/Food Stamps (see below for how to replace existing SNAP benefits).

To use the online pre-registration system, you must have a valid Florida license or ID. Other forms identification may be accepted at the in-person sites.

The following counties have been approved for Disaster SNAP benefits:

Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwanee, Union, Volusia.

 
 

Already have SNAP benefits (Food Stamps)? On Sept. 19, recipients in the counties listed below should automatically receive 40% of their food assistance allotment for September 2017 and an increase for October benefits to replace food loss caused by Hurricane Irma. Current recipients are not eligible for the Disaster SNAP program.

Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, Desoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gilchrist, Glades, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Suwanee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, and Wakulla

If you lost more food than what the 40% replacement covers or live in one of the remaining counties, an individual request with additional verification is required. The window for an individual replacement claim has closed. Applicants must have turned in the form at the link below to a DCF service center, by faxing it to 1-866-886-4342, calling or using your MyACCESS account by September 29.

Forms with FPL's logo across the top are not valid, FPL will not reimburse you for lost food.

SNAP benefits can be used for hot meals through October 30, 2017. Learn more about waivers and other updates for current recipients on DCF's website.

Students in Florida public schools included in the disaster declaration (see map below) will receive free school lunch through October 20, 2017.


UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

Did you lose your job, or was your work or self-employment interrupted because of the hurricane? If so, you may be eligible for extra income through Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Apply by October 31, 2017 at the link below or by calling 1-800-385-3920 (Mon – Fri, 8 am – 5 pm).

If you are having trouble completing the application online or getting through the phone, don't give up! Individuals who have tried to apply for disaster unemployment have faced—a disaster! The Florida application process has glitches that cause almost everyone to be rejected—including many who qualify for aid. 

Miami Workers Center raised the alarm and has asked that the application process be fixed.  Legal allies—including lawyers at Legal Services of Greater Miami, Florida Legal Services, the National Employment Law Project, and Advocacy Partners Team—are working hard to make sure all disaster programs help those who need aid. 

Once you are able to successfully apply, you’ll typically get a decision within 30 days. If you are improperly denied you’ll have 60 days to appeal. A lawyer may be able to help you appeal.


FEMA BENEFITS

FEMA BENEFITS

If Irma made your primary home unlivable or you have incurred disaster related expenses not otherwise covered, you may be eligible for FEMA benefits. FEMA awards benefits on a household basis, make sure only one person applies per address. See the LSGMI guide below for further eligibility guidelines. You until November 24 (60 days from the date of the disaster declaration plus extensions) to apply for assistance.

    Available Benefits May Include:

    • Temporary Housing (a place to live for a limited period of time): Financial assistance may be available to homeowners or renters to rent a temporary place to live. If no rental properties are available, a government housing unit may be provided, but only as a last resort.
    • Lodging Expenses Reimbursement: Reimbursement of hotel expenses for homeowners or renters may be available for short periods of time due to inaccessibility or utility outage if not covered by insurance or any other program.
    • Repairs: Financial assistance may be available to homeowners to repair disater-caused damage to their primary residence that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe, sanitary, or fit to occupy.
    • Replacement: Financial assistance may be available to homeowners to replace their home destroyed in the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to help the homeowner with the cost of replacing their destroyed home.
    • Permanent or Semi-Permanent Housing Construction: Direct assistance or money for the construction of a home. This type of help occurs only in insular areas or other locations specified by FEMA, where no other type of housing assistance is possible.
    • Other Needs: Assistance is available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes: child care; medical and dental expenses; essential household items; clothing; tools required for job; fuel; clean up items; moving and storage expenses. 

    You can apply in the following ways:


    WHICH FLORIDA COUNTIES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS?

    The September 10, 2017 Disaster Declaration and its amendments covers Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sarasota, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties. 

    It was later updated to include Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Gilchrist, Levy, Nassau, Suwannee, Union, Dixie and Lafayette counties.

    The Seminole Tribe of Florida was also named in a Major Disaster Declaration on September 27, 2017.

     
    Current as of Sept. 19, 2017

    Current as of Sept. 19, 2017

     

    WHERE DO I GO IF I'm A RENTER AND WORRIED ABOUT MY HOUSING?

    Content provided courtesy of Legal Services of Greater Miami. Spanish & Haitian Creole translations provided by Coquí Language Collective.
    To apply for legal help online, visit legalservicesmiami.org and click “Get Help” or call 305-576-0080.

    The apartment I live in is needs repairs after the hurricane.  What should I do? First, contact your landlord to notify her about the repairs that are needed.  Take photos and videos of damage so you can document what happened. If repairs cannot be made quickly or the landlord refuses to make repairs, you should send the landlord a letter which lists what needs to be fixed and tells the landlord that you will not pay October’s rent if the landlord doesn’t make repairs within 7 days.  This demand must be in writing. You can’t do it during a phone call.  You can mail a letter, send an email or send a text. Make sure you keep a copy of whatever you send. If your rent is due on the 1st of the month, we recommend doing this no later than Friday, September 22, but you can still send the letter any time before the rent is due.

    What if the landlord does not make repairs by October 1st? If you gave written notice to your landlord described in question one, do not pay your rent to the landlord.  But, you must save your rent.  If you sent the written notice, you will have a defense to an eviction for non-payment of rent.  You will be required to deposit the rent with the court if the landlord files an eviction.  If you don’t save your rent, you will likely be evicted and you won’t get a hearing or speak to a judge.

    Can I make the repairs myself and deduct it from the rent? No.  You can only do this if your landlord agrees to it, either in the lease or in a separate agreement.  If your landlord tells you can use the rent to pay for repairs, make sure you get the agreement it in writing.  An email or text from the landlord confirming the agreement will protect you later.  

    My place is unlivable after the hurricane.  What can I do? If you have somewhere else to go, you can tell the landlord that the place is unlivable and you are moving out.  Do this in writing and take photos. You won’t be responsible for any more rent under the lease.  If only part of your home is unlivable, you have the right to move everything out of that part of your home and reduce your rent for that part of the home.

    I have no power.  Do I have to pay rent? Yes.  In most cases, the loss of power after a hurricane requires FPL to fix lines and restore power. If you think the landlord caused the power outage or there are structural issues at the building preventing power from being restored, you should consult with a lawyer.  

    I couldn’t work during the storm and didn’t get paid.  I don’t have the money for October’s rent. What should I do? First, you should talk to your landlord and see if she’d be willing to work with you and give you time to catch up on your rent.  If not, you should contact the HAND program at 1-877-994-4357 to see if you qualify for rental assistance (in Miami-Dade County only). Unfortunately, the loss of income caused by a hurricane, is not a defense to an eviction for non-payment of rent. If you have received any eviction papers, you should contact Legal Services for advice.

    All my stuff was destroyed when the roof fell in on the place I rent - what help can I get? If you don’t have renter’s insurance and you aren’t covered by your landlord’s insurance policy, you may be able to get Individual and Household Program (IHP) money from FEMA to replace necessary items of personal property such as clothing, household items, furnishings and appliances. You may apply for these benefits through FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 (hearing/speech impaired 1-800-462-7585). You can also apply on-line athttps://www.fema.gov/apply-assistance

    My landlord told me to move out the next day because he wants the apartment for his daughter who lost her house in the hurricane, and told me if I wasn’t out, he’d change the locks - do I have to move? Florida law does not allow a landlord to lock you out or turn off the utilities or use any “self help” to get you to leave. The landlord must file an eviction action in court and, then you only have to move out after the judge orders you to be evicted by the Sheriff.  Before filing an eviction, the landlord must first give you some type of written notice telling you to move. If you get any eviction papers, you can should contact Legal Services for advice. If the landlord locks you out or tries to force you out, call the police and contact Legal Services. You may have a claim for damages equal to three times the monthly rent.


    WHERE CAN I GET HELP APPLYING OR APPEALING A DECISION?

    COMMUNITY RESOURCES:

    • FANM Haitian Women of Miami is assisting weekdays 9-6PM at 100 NE 84th St, Miami, FL 33138
    • Miami Workers Center is assisting with applications by appointment, by call or text Esi. Get legal assistance Friday, Sept. 29, from noon-7pm at 745 NW 54 St., Miami (entrance on 55th street).
    • Catalyst Miami is assisting with applications at Culmer Community Service Center, 1600 NW 3 Ave, Monday-Friday, Sept. 15 from 11-3PM

    LEGAL RESOURCES:

    • If you need legal help in Monroe or Miami-Dade County, contact Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. To apply for legal help online, visit legalservicesmiami.org and click “Get Help” or call: 305-576-0080.
    • The Legal Aid Hotline for Hurricane Irma survivors in Florida who cannot pay for an attorney is open: 1-866-550-2929
    • To find a legal aid office in another part of Florida, go to: floridalawhelp.org/find-legal-help

    WHERE CAN I DONATE TO RELIEF EFFORTS?


    What else can I do to help?

    Right now, low-income communities of color need your support lifting up their stories and echoing their demands.

    Miami is the most unequal place in the United States. Our neighborhoods were underwater long before Hurricane Irma made landfall. Unequal conditions before the storm all but guarantee an unequal recovery, but it doesn’t have to be this way. We can and should recover in a way that responds to the unnatural disasters that put our communities in a constant state of emergency.

    This is a call for a recovery that serves ALL Floridians. We need:

    • Lights, Food and Water
    • Equity in Relief and Recovery
    • A Moratorium on Evictions
    • A Moratorium on Deportations & Detainers
    • A Moratorium on Firings
    • and a Say in our Futures

    WHERE ARE THE FEMA DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS?
    Updated October 4

    Brevard County
    Brevard County Agricultural Center
    3695 Lake Drive
    Cocoa, FL 32926
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Collier County
    Golden Gate Community Center
    4701 Golden Gate Parkway
    Naples, FL34116
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Duval County
    Johnson Family YMCA
    5700 Cleveland Road
    Jacksonville, FL 32209
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until October 8, 2017

    Highlands County
    Bert J. Harris Agricultural Center
    4509 West George Blvd.
    Sebring, FL33875
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Hillsborough County
    Hillsborough Community College -- The Regent
    6437 Watson Road
    Riverview, FL 33578
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Lee County
    Bonita Springs Recreation Center
    26740 Pine Ave.
    Bonita Springs, FL 34135
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Marion County
    Marion County Public Library
    2720 NE Silber Springs Blvd
    Ocala, FL 34470
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until October 8, 2017

    Miami-Dade County
    Miami-Dade College
    Kendall Campus Building K
    11011 SW 104th St.
    Miami, FL33176
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Monroe County
    Big Pine Key Community Park
    31009 Atlantis Dr.
    Big Pine Key, FL 33043
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Islamorada Fire Station- Second Floor, Emergency Operations Center
    81850 Overseas Highway
    Islamorada, FL 33036
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Key West Fire Station #2
    616 Simonton Street
    Key West, FL 33040
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Marathon Park
    3911 Overseas Highway
    Marathon, FL 33050
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Palm Beach County
    Carolyn Sims Center
    225 NW 12th Ave.
    Boynton Beach, FL 33435
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays

    Polk County
    Stuart Center
    1702 US Highway 17 South
    Bartow, FL 33830
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Putnam County
    Putnam County Fairgrounds, Bldg. 1/Expo Hall
    118 Fairgrounds Road
    East Palatka, FL32131
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    Orange County
    Orange County Bank
    2250 N. Orange Blossom Trail
    Orlando, FL 32804
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    St. Johns County
    UF Wind Mitigation “Hurricane House”
    3111 Agricultural Center Drive
    St. Augustine, FL 32092
    Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week

    As more centers open, survivors may locate a center near them at fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. That information is also available on the FEMA mobile app. Survivors may register at any open DRC, even out of state.