FEMA Application Guide

Step-by-step guide on how to submit a FEMA disaster claims application

Find out the next steps in your DWSD/FEMA damage claim process with the questionnaire below



FEMA Claims Application Steps


Step 1: Identification

Start the application by clicking ‘Apply Online’ 

  • Read the disclosures and click ‘Next’
  • Accept the privacy act statement with the check box, then click ‘Next’

Enter your personal information 

You will need the personal documentation you got out before starting
You will answer some questions about disabilities and language needs

Step 2: Disaster

Verify that the type of Disaster is correct

  • It will say “Severe Storms, Flooding, and Tornadoes that occurred on 06/25/2021-06/26/2021 Disaster Number 4607”
  • Choose that option
  • Select ‘Next’

Step 3: Damage Type

Select the type of damage for your house as applicable

  • Enter the date - it must be either 06/25/2021 or 06/26/2021
  • Many people will choose ‘Flood’ 
  • You may choose ‘Sewer Backup’ if that applies to you

Step 4: Damage Type

Select the yes/no answers as they apply 

If your home was flooded, it was *damaged* for FEMA application purposes

  • When in the Losses section, select that your home was damaged
  • When in the Damage Extent section, choose your level of damage
  • Based on your selection, you may not be eligible for FEMA 

Step 5: Dwelling 

Select the answers about where you live

Choose if you are currently living in the damaged residence
Choose what type of home the residence is 

Step 6: Home Insurance

Select the type of insurance you have

If you do not have insurance but own your home, you will see an error message in red:

  • This is alright - do not worry!
  • Continue by selecting the check box below


Step 7: Expenses and Emergency Needs

Select any additional expenses as they apply to you

If you have emergency needs, select them

  • These are for immediate needs only
  • Food damaged during the event are unfortunately not covered
  • Visit Disaster Relief Centers for additional support
  • If you have no immediate needs, do not select any boxes and click ‘Next’ to continue

Step 8: Occupants

Add any other people living in your house

  • Each household can only have one person applying for all living there 
  • If you are a renter you can include your landlord’s name here

Step 9: Business Damages & Financial Information

If you earn income from the property, indicate that here

  • Landlords can choose this option

Enter information about your income and dependents

  • Include yourself in the dependent count
    • If you have no dependents you will enter 1 for yourself

Step 10: ETF 

You will need to enter your bank direct deposit information

  • You can get these numbers from a check 
  • Your bank may also show these numbers in your online banking information

Step 11: Income Verification

This will show you the income you entered earlier to confirm:

  • If it is correct, select ‘Next’

If you get Social Security, Pension, Unemployment, Disability, Welfare, Child Support or other benefits:

  • These need to be included in your total income
  • If you need to change the income to include these, enter the correct total number on this page

Step 12: Correspondence Preferences

This is how you want FEMA to contact you:

  • You can choose your language between English and Spanish
  • Choose whether you want to mail or e-mail
    • Make sure your contact information is correct (it should be there from what you entered in the Identification section earlier)
  • You can also choose to get text messages
  • Make sure your phone number is correct and agree to the terms
  • You will get a confirmation text after submitting your application

Step 13: Review

You’re almost done - this is the final step!

  • You must agree to FEMA’s terms in order to submit 
  • Read the information you have filled in and make sure everything is correct

Step 14: Submit

Hit the submit button!

  • Answer the personal questions as quickly as possible (you must finish in less than 7 minutes)
    • This information is pulled from public record
    • Sometimes the correct answer may be ‘None of the above'

You are now registered!

Hit the submit button again!

  • Make sure to write down and save your Registration ID Number - You will need it later

What comes next?

FEMA will confirm that you have submitted 

  • You will get a text or email about 1 hour after submitting with a FEMA ID #

A FEMA inspector will call you to schedule a visit

  • This will happen a few days after submitting
  • Agree on a day/time with the inspector that works for you

A FEMA inspector will come to your house

  • They will come to your home to look at the damages but may not come inside because of  COVID-19
  • You will need a photo ID
  • You will be asked to sign something about your U.S. citizenship/residence status
  • You will need to show proof of ownership or occupancy with your name and address 
    • Examples for homeowners: tax bill, mortgage, deed/title, insurance policy
    • Examples for renters: lease, rent receipts, utility bill, pay stub, state ID, bank/credit card statement

Follow Up

To check the status of your application, or to notify FEMA of any change to your mailing address or contact information, please visit https://www.DisasterAssistance.gov and select Check Your Application Status or call FEMA’s Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362)

If you are Denied:

FEMA/SBA Graphic 2
  • This is not the end - you can appeal within 60 days!
  • This may happen for a number of reasons and you can correct errors or submit more information 
  • Seek help - visit a Disaster Recovery Center or call 800-621-3362

If you are Denied:

  • Read your denial letter and identify why you were denied 
  • Gather documents and evidence for your appeal
  • Write an appeal letter
  • File your appeal letter along with your documents online or at the Disaster Recovery Center. 
  • FEMA makes a final decision within 60 days

Other organizations that can provide support:
  • Red Cross
  • City of Detroit Community Health Corps
  • Wayne Metro Community Action Agency
  • United Way
You can visit these at the Disaster Recovery Centers:
  • Kemeny Recreation Center (2260 S. Fort Street)
    • Monday - Saturday 9AM - 7PM 
  • Salvation Army (3000 Conner Street)
    Monday - Saturday 9AM - 4PM