Renters and Students May Be Eligible for FEMA Disaster Assistance

If you are a renter or a student at a college or university in a disaster designated Florida county and sustained damage from Hurricane Irma, you may be eligible for disaster assistance.

The first step is to register with FEMA online at or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use TTY can call 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or VRS (Video Relay Services) or require accommodations while visiting a center, can call 800-621-3362 to register. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET daily.

As a renter or student, you may also qualify for a grant under FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance program for essential personal property and other needs. FEMA grants can help pay for disaster-related expenses that do not have to be repaid such as:

  • Replacement or repair of necessary personal property, such as furniture, appliances, clothing, text books or school supplies
  • Replacement or repair of tools and other job-related equipment required if you are self-employed
  • Replacement or repair of primary vehicles
  • Medical and dental bills as a result of the disaster

As a student or renter, you do not need to be a permanent resident of the designated counties to be eligible for assistance, but the property damage or loss must have occurred in a disaster designated county.

Renters and students may also qualify for a low-interest SBA loan of up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property.  For more information, call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or visit  TTY users may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at

Picture of Author: Amanda Jones
Author: Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones specializes in social media marketing. She holds a Master's degree in Social Media Management from the University of Florida and a Social Media Professional Certificate from the University of Miami.


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