Hurricane Sandy Emergency Information – Apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance Here!

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Disaster Assistance questionnaire to see what you help you are eligible for (English and Spanish):

Emergency Services (Non-Cash)

Everyone is entitled to these benefits, there is no application required


  • Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP): provides funding to more than 500 soup kitchens and food pantries citywide.  EFAP staff coordinates the distribution of non-perishable food commodities to the members as well as monitor the emergency feeding program members to ensure adherence to EFAP and agency guidelines. (866) 888-8777.

  • Citymeals (SENIORS): is delivering shelf-stable meals to seniors. If you come across any senior housing, please contact Citymeals and make them aware. Email
  • ·         NYC Government: Handing out food and water, AT&T will set up pods with cell coverage and charging stations. Partial list will be updated as information is made available:

  • Salvation Army: Providing food locations:

Temporary Shelter:

-          FEMA housing portal:

-          Federal Aid Programs:

-          Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable.  Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters.  Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)

  • Red Cross: Shelters (provide safe shelter, hot meals, essential relief supplies, emotional support and health services like first aid)
  • Salvation Army: Location of shelters:

Recovery By Area:


Cash Disaster Aid

Application required for these benefits and there are some limitation based on immigration status


Read more at:

Small Business Loans:

-          Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.  (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)

-          Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster’s adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)


-          Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)

-          Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.   (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)

Residential Loans:

Unemployment Assistance:

  • Disaster Benefits: Individuals not eligible for regular unemployment insurance like self-employed individuals can receive disaster unemployment assistance. The program is operated by the states but paid for by FEMA. The program is explained at

and at

  • Apply online:

-          Connecticut:

-          New Jersey:

-          New York:

Anyone unemployed due to Hurricane Sandy is immediately eligible for unemployment benefits or disaster unemployment assistance and can submit a claim to the Department of Labor.  You can apply by calling 1-888-209-8124. Applicants should answer the questions to indicate they lost their job due Sandy. To receive benefits you must apply by December 3, 2012.

Unemployment Insurance:

  • Claimant Extension Date: Because of the loss of power and phone service in the storm impacted areas, many Unemployment Insurance claimants were unable to certify for their weekly benefits. The Department of Labor will extend the date of certification of unemployment benefits for individuals impacted by Hurricane Sandy from November 3, 2012 to November 10, 2012. APPLY: These individuals will need to call 1-888-209-8124 and speak to an agent to receive benefits for the prior week. If you are unable to access a phone to obtain benefits, individuals can visit any of the agency’s career centers.
  • US Department of Labor:

-          APPLY online:

-          APPLY: phone: 1-888-209-8124 for New York State residents, 1-877-358-5306 for out-of-state residents. 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday

Replacement SNAP:

Individuals who are already get SNAP will receive 50% of monthly SNAP benefits to replace food destroyed by the storm automatically. Zip codes included: Individuals not in those zip codes can still qualify for replacement if they loss food due to the storm. The loss must be reported by November 28, 2012, and the household must turn in a signed and completed form  ( by December 10,2012 to fax number: (917) 639-1111.


Other Information

Legal Assistance:

The Lawyers Alliance of New York is offering immediate assistance through telephone consultations, emergency trainings, and outreach to help non-profits keep pace with emerging legal issues.  Visit or call (212) 219-1800.  Several other services are offering free legal assistance to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Types of assistance typically include help with insurance claims, preparing powers of attorney, help with guardianships, and preparing new wills and other lost legal documents.  For more information, please visit,, or
Those with questions about insurance / filing insurance claims should call the NYS Department of Financial Services emergency hotline. Call 1-800-339-1759 to speak to an expert. Hours of operation are 8AM to 8PM weekdays, 9AM to 4PM weekends.
In response to Hurricane Sandy, the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is accepting financial donations from organizations and individuals to support relief efforts. One hundred percent of donations are being dispersed to relief efforts and organizations.  The City is distributing funds to address immediate needs, including food and water, clothing and toiletries, as well as long-term rebuilding and restoration efforts. Cash donations to support relief efforts can be made through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.  Learn more at

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