WASHINGTON — Last week, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced the most comprehensive updates to FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program in the past 20 years. After seeing how the limitations of federal assistance have delayed disaster recovery for too many, especially for those who are disproportionately affected by disasters, the Biden-Harris Administration was determined to make changes to help reach more people.

“By making it easier for people to apply for and receive assistance, we are going to help them become more prepared and more resilient for the next threat that may come their way while removing barriers for their long-term recovery,” said Administrator Criswell. “It truly fills me with great pride to know that we continue to look for ways to prioritize disaster survivors in everything that we do.”

These planned updates to reform the Individual Assistance program will:

  • establish new benefits that provide flexible funding directly to survivors when they need it most.
  • cut red tape and expand eligibility to reach more people and help them recover faster, while building back stronger.
  • simplify the application process to meet survivors’ individual needs and meet people where they are.

With the increase of extreme weather events fueled by climate change, these updates will provide survivors with faster and easier access to resources they need after disasters. Find the full details on the new changes here.

These new changes will go into effect for disasters declared on or after March 22, 2024.

Read more here.