The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Did FEMA turn you down for not proving you own your home? FEMA can still help you even if you do not have official papers to show that you own your home, or have paperwork to prove you were living in your home near the time of the disaster.

FEMA usually asks for you to provide at least one of these:

  • The deed or deed of trust to the property
  • Bond for deed
  • Quitclaim deed
  • Bill of sale
  • Will or Affidavit of Heirship
  • A mortgage statement or escrow analysis
  • Homeowners or flood insurance documents, payments records, or bill
  • Property tax receipt or bill
  • Manufactured home certificate or title
  • Court documents about who owns the property
  • A letter from a public official
  • Receipts from major repairs or improvements within the last five years
  • Statement from trailer park owner that includes how they know you owned the trailer (like they had your ownership documents on file before the disaster)

If you do not have these papers, there are steps you can take to work with FEMA.

You can write something called “a Self-Declarative Statement.” It swears that you own the property. It explains why you do not have the paperwork FEMA asked for to show that you own your home. It must say that you are saying everything in it “under the penalty of perjury.” The words “under penalty of perjury” make it a crime for you to lie in the statement.

How do I write a Self-Declarative Statement?

The Self-Declarative statement must include these things:

  • Every page must have your FEMA claim number and the disaster number. Hurricane Ida is Disaster Number 4611.
  • It must list the address of your damaged home.
  • It must say how long you lived in your home before the disaster.
  • It must have your printed name.
  • It must have your signature.

The following is a sample Self-Declarative Statement. It has places to check off items or fill in information for your situation:

“I have made a good faith effort, in coordination with FEMA, to obtain and provide a copy of acceptable ownership documentation. I do meet FEMA’s definition of an owner-occupant because I: [initial all that apply]

____ am the legal owner of the home,

____ pay no rent but am   responsible for the payment of taxes or maintenance for the home, or

____ have a lifetime right to live in the home under a will or inheritance or ________.

I was unable to obtain this documentation because:

[provide an explanation of why other documents listed above were not available].

I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

[sign your name and the date]

If the property was inherited, instead of the three options to check off above, include, if true:

“As the nearest relative of the deceased in the line of succession, my ownership includes all the rights and obligations of the deceased.  The decedent’s name is ______, who died on _______. I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.”

[Sign your name and the date]

If the property was inherited and you are not the nearest relative, include a similar substitute paragraph explaining how you came to inherit the property.

If the home is a trailer:

Include a signed statement from the commercial or mobile home park owner if you can.

For more information:

FEMA’s policy document about this is posted at https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_iappg-policy-amendments-memo.pdf

FEMA’s own staff often forget about this 2021 policy change.

Proving occupancy instead of ownership:

If you are attempting to establish that the property was your home at the time of the disaster (occupancy), not ownership, your statement should be something like this:

I have made a good faith effort, in coordination with FEMA, to obtain and provide a copy of acceptable occupancy documentation.  I was unable to obtain this documentation [provide an explanation of why you could not get documents FEMA requests or how the documents you could get did not meet FEMA’s requirements].

I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

[Sign your name and the date]

Do you need help proving that you owned or lived in your home?

Someone experienced in dealing with FEMA can help. If you went through Hurricane Ida, you might be able to get free legal help from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

To see if you qualify for free legal aid from Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, call our Disaster Legal Services Hotline at: 1-800-310-7029, or apply at our website www.slls.org/get-help/client-services.

For More Information

https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_iappg-policy-amendments-memo.pdf

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Everyone getting SNAP will get lower payments starting March 1, 2023. Keep reading to find out what to do to make sure you get everything you should.

How Much SNAP Will I Lose?

Most households will lose at least $95.00 per month. Your household may lose less or more than $95.00 in March.

Many elderly people on Social Security  will remember getting only $20 in SNAP before the pandemic. Most of these people will return to getting only $20, unless they can claim new expenses, mentioned below.

Most other people will get a little more than what they got in 2019 unless they have or can report changes to the agency.

What Should I Do Now?

Make sure DCFS has up to date information about your income and bills. During the COVID emergency, DCFS may have given you extra SNAP without getting all of the paperwork and information it usually needs.

Act now to give DCFS the right information about your income and expenses. This can help make sure you get the right amount of SNAP in the future. Do not wait. DCFS may be busy and hard to reach once SNAP lowers in March 2023.

The items listed below can make your SNAP amount go up or down. The list says what information DCFS may need for each item:

  • How much each person earns or gets in benefits (paperwork may be pay stubs, W-2 forms, income tax returns, employers’ statements, award letters about disability benefits).
  • Money spent on child care so you can work (paperwork could be things like bills for child care).
  • Money above $35.00 in medical costs paid to care for older or disabled household members (paperwork may include medical bills).
  • Child support you pay (paperwork may include wage withholding statements and court orders).
  • Rent or mortgage costs (paperwork includes things your lease or promissory note).

There are websites that can help you figure out how much your SNAP amount should be. Use only trustworthy sites. Here is a site you can use: http://www.nolafoodpolicy.org/snapcalculator.

Come back to this blog post later for how to check what information DCFS already has for your household.

How Do I Give DCFS My New Information?

You can send documents through DCFS’ online LA CAFÉ system. You can use this online system at this website: https://sspweb.ie.dcfs.la.gov/selfservice/selfserviceJSPController?id=0.1772418717047336&tab=1.

The site will ask you to log into your LA CAFÉ account. If you do not have an LA CAFÉ account, you will need to set one up. You will need to create an LA CAFÉ profile and link your SNAP case. Once you log into LA CAFÉ, the site will show you how to upload your paperwork for DCFS.

You can also send your paperwork to DCFS by mail, fax, or by visiting any DCFS office in person. Keep copies of any paperwork you send to DCFS!

DCFS’ mailing address is:

Department of Children and Family Services ES
Document Processing Center
P.O. Box 260031
Baton Rouge, LA 70826

DCFS’ fax number is 225-663-3164.

Be sure to include your Case ID number or Social Security Number (SSN) on every page so DCFS can match your paperwork to your case.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

When Can I Apply?

Anyone can sign up from November 1, 2022, to January 15, 2023.There will be a similar sign-up period each year.

People with income under 150% of the poverty level can apply at any time. A chart below gives the 150% poverty levels.

Anyone can sign up for or change these health plans for 60 days after some big changes in your life. These are things like:

  • losing a job
  • losing health insurance
  • changes to who is in your family
  • losing Medicaid

Who Can Get Help?

As set out with the income charts below, different help is available depending on your income.

No one gets excluded for having a pre-existing health problem.

You may qualify now even if you could not before. Changes in 2021 and 2022 give more people low-cost health insurance.

But you cannot get this help if:

  • You get Medicaid
  • You have Medicare
  • Your annual income is under 100% of poverty (These income figures are listed below.)
  • You are not a U.S. citizen or national or lawfully present in the U.S.
  • You are in prison
  • You do not live in the U.S.
  • You already have “affordable” and adequate health insurance through a job. (This is discussed some below. The rules became more helpful in December 2022.)

The types of help available to different groups

The income figures below will be used for eligibility for 2023.

People with annual incomes under 100% of poverty

Persons with annual income under these amounts cannot get the special help with health insurance costs.

Number of People in Your tax household Annual (Yearly) Household Income
1 $13,590
2 $18,310
3 $23,030
4 $27,750
5 $32,470
6 $37,190
7 $41,910
8 $46,630
For each additional prson, add $4,720

150% of poverty

For incomes below this you can apply any time. People with incomes below this can pick a Silver Plan and have no monthly premiums. With the Silver plan they get help for copays and deductibles, too.

Number of People in Your tax Household Annual (Yearly) Household Income Monthly Average
1 $20,385 $1,699
2 $27,465 $2,289
3 $34,545 $2,879
4 $41,625 $3,469
5 $48,705 $4,059
6 $55,785 $4,649
7 $62,865 $5,239
8 $69,945 $5,829
For each additional person, add $7,080 $590

250% of poverty

For incomes below this, premiums are reduced, and with a Silver plan copays and costs when getting care are kept very low

Like other health insurance, you only pay part of your medical costs when you get health care or prescriptions. If your income is under 250% of the Federal Poverty line and you sign up for a “Silver Plan,” the costs you pay when you go to the doctor go way down. This only applies to Silver plans.

This can make silver plans better than the other plans (bronze, gold, or platinum) for people with income under 250% of poverty. Even if a Bronze plan may have lower monthly premium, a Silver plan may be less expensive for people under these incomes who use their insurance.

Read more about this special help for Silver plans here.

Number of People in Your Tax Household 250% Annual Income limit Monthly Average
1 $33,975 $2,831
2 $45,775 $3,815
3 $57,575 $4,798
4 $69,375 $5,781
5 $81,175 $6,765
6 $92,975 $7,748
7 $104,775 $8731
8 $116,575 $9,715
For each additional person, add $4,720 $983

400% of poverty

For incomes below this, premiums are reduced, so your health insurance costs less each month

400% of poverty is $54,360 for a single person, $73,240 for a couple. It is about $111,000 a year for a family of 4. and even higher for larger families.

A chart that includes the 400% income amounts is here.

Higher than 400% of poverty

Above those limits, you can still get a very high deductible policy if your health costs are over 8.17% of your income. This is called a Catastrophic policy.

There is new help for parents whose health insurance through the job costs too much

Starting December 12, 2022, there is new help for people with jobs, whose health insurance costs too much.

Check to see if health insurance though your job costs more than 9.12% of your household income. If it does, you are allowed to apply even though you could get insurance through your job. This insurance may cost less than through your job.

See if adding a spouse and children makes health insurance through your job cost more than 9.12% of your household’s income. If it does, then the dependents can get help with health insurance costs through the federal Marketplace.

For more about this see https://www.healthreformbeyondthebasics.org/rule-eliminates-family-glitch

How do I apply?

There are two options for signing up on your own:

Visit www.healthcare.gov or Call 1-800-318-2596

What if I need help signing up or finding a plan?

Go to this site to find someone who is not selling something, who will help you find a plan: https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/

You will need to agree to file federal income taxes for the years you receive the insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I see how much this will cost?

You can get an idea of what a plan will cost you before you apply or sign up.

Go here: https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/#/?year=2022

Is there a deadline to sign up?

People with income under 150% of the poverty level can apply at any time. For everyone else, there are important deadlines. Do not miss the deadline.

Anyone can sign up from November 1, 2022, to January 15, 2023. If you sign up before December 15, your insurance can start January 1. If you sign up between December 15 and January 15, the insurance starts February 1.

You may be able to sign up earlier if you had some big events in your life. Anyone can sign up within 60 days of any of these events:

    • Getting married
    • Having a baby
    • Adopting a child
    • Losing Medicaid
    • Losing your current health insurance. (Even if you lost insurance because you moved.)

Coverage will usually start the next month

For more information about applying outside the usual November to January 15 times see https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage-outside-open-enrollment/special-enrollment-period/

If I sign up, am I covered for medical bills I already owe from being sick or hurt?

No. Health insurance will not cover a bill from before your coverage starts. Coverage never starts before the first of the month after you apply. Sometimes the delay is longer. For bills you already owe consider applying for Medicaid. Medicaid can cover bills up to 3 months before you apply.

People under age 65 with monthly income under 138% of the poverty line usually qualify for Medicaid. People in some other groups with higher and lower incomes who live in Louisiana can also get Medicaid.

This chart shows 138% of the poverty line for monthly income for different household sizes.

Number of People in Your Household 138% Monthly Income
1 $1,562.85
2 $2,105.65
3 $2,648.45
4 $3,191.25
5 $3,734.05
6 $4,276.85
7 $4,819.65
8 $5,362.45
For each additional person, add $542.80

When do I count my income?

The health insurance program counts your expected income for the calendar year. You are eligible based on what your income will probably be for the year, even if your income is higher or lower when you apply.Total income for the year is what counts

Why are tax households used?

To help make quick application decisions and reviews, IRS income tax data is used. So income tax rules apply to many parts of the program: what income is counted, who gets grouped together on an application, use of annual income, etc.

The one exception is for victims of domestic violence, as discussed below.

What kind of health coverage is this?

The insurance comes from private insurance companies. Money to help pay the costs comes from the federal government. This is part of the Affordable Care Act, or “ACA.”

The insurance is from names you may know, like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, United, and so on.

Each company’s plans at a particular level (bronze, silver, gold, or platinum) must meet government standards for that level.

Usually, gold and platinum plans cover more and have lower copays when you get care. But for people with incomes under 250% of poverty, Silver Plans usually have the lowest cost when you get care.

Details can be different from company to company.

What paperwork do I need to sign up?

You need the social security number and income information for each person who will be on your federal income tax form next year.

Does my household include my spouse if I am a victim of domestic violence, domestic abuse, or spousal abandonment?

No. You do not have to file jointly and can still qualify for tax credits.

If you are living apart from your spouse because you are a victim of domestic violence, domestic abuse, or spousal abandonment and want to sign up for your own health plan separate from your abuser or abandoner, you are treated as “unmarried” in your Marketplace application. These people can say they are unmarried, without penalty for mis-stating your marital status.

For more about who is in your “household” for these insurance applications, see https://www.healthcare.gov/income-and-household-information/household-size/

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Why am I being billed for some else’s care?

Sometimes a nursing home asks family members to pay for the care of a relative in the nursing home. This can happen if your family member went to live in something called a “skilled nursing facility” or a “long-term care nursing facility.”

You or someone else may have signed papers to get someone into the nursing home. These papers may have been something called an “admission agreement.” These papers may have been called a “” Long Term Care (“LTC”) Medicaid Application.”

If you signed papers like this, get a copy. Read the papers. Keep them in a safe place for your records.

What is the law that deals with a nursing home that tries to get me to pay for the care of someone in the home?

More than one law covers this kind of debt.

One of the laws is the federal Nursing Home Reform Act.  That law says that the nursing home cannot make someone else agree to pay the bill for someone get into a nursing home.  Another way to say this is that the nursing home cannot force you to be a co-signer for the nursing home bill.

This will not protect you if you are married to the person in the nursing home. Louisiana is a “community property” state. This makes the husband and the wife responsible for a debt that happens during the marriage.

What if I am sued on someone else’s nursing home bill?

It is best if you can find a lawyer right away if you are sued.

There are important deadlines for taking legal steps to fight a lawsuit. If you do not reply on time, the other side may get the court to rule against you. This is called a “default judgment” It can be very hard or impossible to undo that kind of court judgment.

Do not let a court deadline or time limit go by! There is a form you can use to try to get the court to give you more time to reply to the lawsuit in court.

 https://louisianalawhelp.org/resource/a-motion-for-extension-of-time-to-respond-in-a-louisiana-court-with-instructions

Even if you file this form try to get legal help right away. It is best to have a lawyer if you need to file court papers to fight the suit.   Without a lawyer you may miss something in the suit you need to deny, reply to. You might also miss out on raising important defenses that can be lost unless filed with or before your Answer.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services may be able to give free legal help. For how to contact us, see https://slls.org/get-help/client-services/

What if I did sign something saying I would “be responsible for” the bill?

In some cases, the nursing home might not be able to make you do the things listed in the papers you signed. The Nursing Home Reform Law makes it illegal for a nursing home to demand that you sign an agreement to pay the bill to get the nursing home to admit your loved one. There could be other reasons why something you signed at other times might not be valid.

You might have had control of the nursing home resident’s check, bank accounts, stocks, or other things, as co-owner. You might have had control of what the nursing home resident owned through a power of attorney. Or the resident may have died and you inherited from them.

Because you had control over the resident’s assets, you can be liable for the bill, up to the amount of those assets.

What is a responsible party clause?

If you held a power of attorney for the person in the nursing home or if you signed the Admission Agreement as a “responsible party” for the resident, the nursing home may treat you as the one who is responsible for taking care of the bill. The Nursing Home Reform Law does not allow nursing homes to demand third party financial guarantees as co-signer. On the other hand, the law allows nursing homes to use “responsible party clauses. This kind of agreement would make you liable to the extent you have or had control of the resident’s finances.

Here is what a “responsible party clause” might look like:

“By signing this, you agree to 1) use the resident’s money to pay nursing facility expenses, and 2) take all necessary steps to obtain Medicaid coverage.”

Some “responsible party clauses” may also say things like “If you fail to do this, you may be held personally liable for damages, including attorney’s fees and court costs including attorney’s fees and court costs.”

Be sure to read all papers before you sign. Make sure you are not signing anything that says you agree to pay any debt or bill that is more than any of the resident’s finances that you control.

Some courts have upheld contracts even though they have terms that seem illegal under the federal Nursing Home Reform Law.

Why else might I be sued or threatened?

You may also be contacted because you are someone who knows about the resident’s finances. Nursing homes sometimes use lawsuits a to pressure resident’s family members even though they are not responsible for the debts.

What is the Admission Agreement?

This is the contract for services between the resident and the nursing home.  Read this carefully. Look at the terms of the contract regarding financial liability very closely. Ask questions.  Ask the nursing home about any financial obligations that you could have.

Compare what they say to what is in the papers you are signing.

Do not just take the nursing home’s word.

Look in the papers for words such as “liable” “damages” “attorney fees.”

Keep copies of everything that you sign.

Ask for a copy of the facility’s admission agreement as soon as you are aware your loved one may be placed there. Do this before you sign anything. Take time to review the papers or have an attorney explain them to you. 

If I did sign as a responsible party, do I still owe these debts?

If you voluntarily signed the admission agreement as a responsible party then you must give a good faith effort to use the resident’s resources to pay the bills.

Responsible parties are usually in charge of gathering all the nursing resident’s financial resources they can to make them available to the pay the nursing facility.

Responsible parties also usually submit information and documents requested by Medicaid should their loved one require assistance to pay the long-term care bills.

If you do not send information on time to Medicaid or if you do not use the resident’s money to pay for nursing home care, you could find yourself liable for a hefty bill.

If you or someone else inherit from a resident’s estate, that estate can be charged for unpaid nursing bills.

Likewise, after the death of a person, the state may seek recovery of facility bills Medicaid paid, from the estate of the resident.

You are only liable to the extent you receive assets of the dead person’s estate. There can be important exceptions making you owe less.

La información proporcionada en esta publicación no representa, y no pretende, un asesoramiento legal. Toda la información disponible en este sitio es información general. Si necesita ayuda legal, debe comunicarse con un abogado. Usted puede ser elegible para nuestros servicios legales. Nuestros servicios son gratuitos. Usted puede solicitar nuestros servicios con llamar nuestra línea directa de asistencia legal por desastre al 1-844-244-7871 o por nuestra aplicación electrónica.

El presidente Biden aprobó una declaración de desastres que cubre las parroquias que fueron afectadas por el Huracán Ida. Dueños de viviendas y propiedades y inquilinos que vienen en las parroquias enumeradas abajo esta página puede solicitar posible ayuda con gastos o necesidades graves resultantes de este desastre declarado, que no están cubiertos por su seguro u otras formas de asistencia.

¿Cuáles son las parroquias cubiertas por la agencia federal de FEMA para el Huracán Ida?

Los residentes de: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

¿Qué Asistencia está disponible de parte de la agencia federal de FEMA?

Vivienda temporal, asistencia para reparación del hogar para dueños de viviendas y propiedades, préstamos o fondos de bajo costo para cubrir pérdidas de bienes personales o inmuebles sin seguro, y otros programas para ayudar a las personas y propietarios de negocios a recuperarse de los efectos del desastre. FEMA no cubre los gastos o pérdidas cubiertos por su seguro.

Hay algunas nuevas formas de asistencia hechos por la agencia federal de FEMA para sobrevivientes del Huracán Ida:

  1. Asistencia Para Necesidades Criticas (Abreviamientos “CNA” en inglés):

FEMA puede proporcionar ayuda financiera a personas con necesidades inmediatas o críticas porque están desplazadas de su vivienda principal. Las necesidades inmediatas o críticas son: artículos que salvan y sostienen vidas, incluidos, entre otros: agua, alimentos, primeros auxilios, prescripciones, fórmula infantil, pañales, suministros médicos consumibles, equipo médico duradero, artículos de higiene personal y combustible para el transporte. Para el huracán Ida, CNA ofrece un premio único de hasta $500.00 por hogar.

  1. Reembolso para gastos de Generadores y Motosierras:

Los compradores elegibles o alquileres de un generador (hasta $800) y/o motosierra ($250) entre el 26 de agosto de 2021 y el 25 de septiembre de 2021 pueden ser aprobados para el reembolso de la agencia federal de FEMA si la compra no está cubierta por el seguro u otra forma de recurso. El solicitante también debe cumplir con los requisitos generales de elegibilidad para el Programa de Individuos y Hogares de la agencia federal de FEMA.

  1. Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio:

La agencia federal de FEMA puede proporcionar Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio (Abreviamientos “TSA” en inglés) para los solicitantes que no pueden regresar a su residencia principal porque su hogar es inhabitable o inaccesible debido al huracán Ida. El programa de Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio está destinado a proporcionar a los sobrevivientes alojamiento a corto plazo a través de pagos directos a proveedores de alojamiento, si no tienen forma de cubrir esto con un seguro u otra forma de recurso.

Bajo el programa de Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio, los sobrevivientes de desastres pueden permanecer en un hotel o motel aprobado por un período de tiempo limitado y que el costo de la habitación y los impuestos sean pagados directamente por la agencia federal de FEMA. El solicitante debe cubrir todos los demás costos asociados con el alojamiento y las comodidades, incluidos, entre otros, los cargos o servicios incidentales de la habitación, como teléfono, servicio de habitaciones, comida, etc.

Los solicitantes aprobados por la agencia federal de FEMA pueden elegir cualquier lugar en la lista de hoteles aprobados de FEMA en su área. La lista de hoteles aprobados está disponible en http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php (información está disponible en español) o en la línea de ayuda de FEMA. FEMA proporciona a los solicitantes acceso y necesidades funcionales asistencia adicional para localizar hoteles aprobados para satisfacer sus necesidades.

¿Puedo recibir beneficios de parte de la agencia de FEMA si tengo un seguro?

Por ley, la agencia federal de FEMA no puede pagar por pérdidas cubiertas por su seguro. Esto significa que si tiene un seguro de propietario o inquilino que puede cubrir sus pérdidas por desastre, no puede obtener ayuda tanto de FEMA como del seguro. Si está asegurado, PRIMERO presente su reclamo de seguro lo antes posible. Puede presentar una solicitud ante FEMA antes de obtener la decisión de su compañía de seguros. Es posible que aún sea elegible para recibir alguna ayuda de FEMA, incluso si tiene seguro. FEMA necesitará ver la correspondencia de reclamos de seguros, incluyendo:

  • Denegación de su carta de reclamo: Prueba de que no está cubierto por su compañía de seguros y póliza.
  • Carta de liquidación: Una lista de los daños y propiedades que están cubiertos por su póliza de seguro.
  • Carta de demora: Prueba de que no hay una decisión oficial de su compañía de seguros sobre su reclamo, y han pasado más de 30 días desde el momento en que presentó su reclamo de seguro.

Requisitos de elegibilidad para la ciudadanía:

Usted, o alguien que vive con usted, debe ser ciudadano estadounidense, nacional no ciudadano o extranjero calificado.

Lista de verificación de esta aplicación:

Tenga un lapicero y papel listos y prepárese para dar la siguiente información:

  • Número de Seguro Social: Usted, otro miembro adulto o hijo menor de edad en su hogar DEBE tener un número de Seguro Social. Nota: Usted o ellos también deben ser ciudadanos estadounidenses, nacionales no ciudadanos o extranjeros calificados.
  • Dirección de correo electrónico (opcional): puede usar una dirección de correo electrónico para crear una cuenta en DiasterAssistance.gov para presentar y ver el seguimiento del estado de su reclamo para asistencia. Si elige comunicarse con la agencia solo por teléfono o correo, no es necesario un correo electrónico. Aunque la agencia ha declarado que presentar un reclamo con una cuenta en DissasterAssistance.gov es la ruta más eficiente.
  • Información de sus seguros: Anote los tipos de cobertura de seguro que tiene. Por ejemplo: propietarios de viviendas, inundación, automóvil, etc.
  • Información de daños: El tipo de vivienda o vehículo dañado debido al huracán Ida. Por ejemplo: Coche, Camión, Casa Móvil, Condominio.
  • Información financiera: En el momento del desastre, el ingreso total anual de su hogar (antes de impuestos). Por ejemplo: Salarios brutos, beneficios del seguro de desempleo, discapacidad.
  • Su información de contacto:
    1. Proporcione la dirección y el número de teléfono de la propiedad donde ocurrió el daño.
    2. ADEMÁS, proporcione la dirección y el número de teléfono donde FEMA puede comunicarse con usted ahora.
  • Su información de depósito directo (opcional): Sujeto a la aprobación de la agencia federal de FEMA, FEMA puede depositar sus fondos directamente en su cuenta bancaria ahora con la siguiente información:
    1. Nombre del banco
    2. Tipo de cuenta (de cheques o de ahorros)
    3. Número de ruta
    4. Número de cuenta

Verificación de ocupación y propiedad:

La agencia federal de FEMA tiene que verificar la ocupación y la propiedad de la vivienda antes de dar algunos tipos de ayuda. A partir del 2 de septiembre de 2021, para confirmar la ocupación, FEMA aceptará lo siguiente:

  • Facturas
  • Otros proyectos de ley,
  • Documentos del empleador,
  • Contrato de arrendamiento/vivienda,
  • Recibos de alquiler,
  • Documentos/carta del funcionario público (jefe de policía, alcalde, cartero, gobierno estatal o local),
  • Tarjetas de identificación,
  • matriculaciones de vehículos de motor,
  • Declaraciones juradas de residencia u otros documentos judiciales,
  • Cartas de escuelas locales (públicas o privadas),
  • Cartas de proveedores de beneficios federales o estatales,
  • Cartas de organizaciones de servicios sociales (como programas de asistencia comunitaria y organizaciones sin fines de lucro).

Además, los sobrevivientes ahora también pueden usar una declaración firmada por el propietario de un parque comercial o de casas móviles y proporcionar auto certificación para casas móviles y remolques de viaje.

Para confirmar la propiedad, FEMA ahora aceptará lo siguiente:

  • Acta o acta oficial,
  • Documentación hipotecaria,
  • Documentos de seguros estructurales o de bienes inmuebles, facturas o registros de pago,
  • Recibos de impuestos a la propiedad o factura de impuestos a la propiedad,
  • Certificado de título de la casa prefabricada,
  • Provisiones Inmobiliarias,
  • Contrato de hecho,
  • Contrato de Pago a Plazos Terrestres,
  • Escritura de renuncia,
  • Factura de venta o fianza por título,
  • Voluntad o Declaración Jurada de Heredero (nombrando al solicitante como heredero de la propiedad y un certificado de defunción),
  • Documentos/carta del funcionario público,
  • Recibos por reparaciones o mejoras importantes (fechados dentro de los 5 años posteriores al desastre).

La agencia federal de FEMA permitirá que los sobrevivientes con PROPIEDADES DE HEREDEROS, CASAS MÓVILES o REMOLQUES DE VIAJE, que no tienen la documentación tradicional (enumerada anteriormente), pueden verificar la propiedad con una auto certificación de la propiedad y calificar para asistencia.

Consejos para su reclamo de FEMA:

  • Guarde toda la documentación que pueda. Como: recibos por gastos posteriores a la tormenta para alimentos, gas, alojamiento, reemplazo de propiedad, etc.
  • Tome fotos de sus daños lo antes posible, antes de que alguien comience a limpiarlo si es posible.
  • Si no está seguro de algo, no adivine ni ingrese información que sepa que es incorrecta. Lo mejor es esperar para completar una unidad de solicitud cuando haya reunido toda la información que usted necesita.
  • Presentar múltiples solicitudes para un solo desastre u hogar puede retrasar su caso Y puede llevar a FEMA a acusarlo de fraude o hacerle pagar pagos duplicados.
  • Las llamadas telefónicas hechas por la agencia federal de FEMA pueden parecer llegar de un número sin identificación o privado, pero también hay estafas en curso. Si usted puede manejar su reclamo de FEMA por el sitio web, o físicamente en un centro de desastres de FEMA con un representante actual de FEMA, se anima de esta forma.

¿Qué debo hacer si no tengo un número de seguro social o si he perdido mi tarjeta de seguro social?

  • Visite el sitio web: https://www.ssa.gov/espanol/
  • Usted puede obtener una tarjeta de Seguro Social original o una tarjeta de reemplazo si la suya se pierde o es robada (sin cargo).
  • Usted puede usar la aplicación mi cuenta de Seguro Social para solicitar una tarjeta de Seguro Social de reemplazo en línea si:
    1. Es ciudadano estadounidense de 18 años o más con una dirección postal de los Estados Unidos.
    2. No está solicitando un cambio de nombre o cualquier otro cambio en su tarjeta.
    3. Usted tiene una licencia de conducir o una tarjeta de identificación emitida por el estado.

Hay otras opciones de reemplazo de tarjetas, si es necesario, disponibles en el sitio web de la agencia federal de la administración de Seguro Social (Abreviamientos “SSA” en inglés). Una vez que tenga su número de seguro social, puede comenzar el proceso de solicitud con la agencia federal de FEMA.

¿Qué pasa si mi casa tiene daños por el huracán Ida pero mi parroquia no está cubierta?

A veces otras parroquias se agregan a la declaración de desastres más tarde. Usted puede volver a visitar el sitio de web, DisasterAssistance.gov, y buscar su dirección para verificar si su parroquia se agregó en una fecha posterior.

¿Cómo puedo solicitar asistencia por la agencia federal de FEMA?

  1. Usted puede visitar el sitio de web: DisasterAssistance.gov (esta es la forma más rápida)
  2. Usted puede llamar al número telefónico: 1-800-621-3362 o TTY 1-200-462-7585
  3. Descargue la aplicación móvil de la agencia federal de FEMA con los programas de “Apple” o “Google Play.”

¿Dónde puedo obtener ayuda con mi solicitud de FEMA?

Con la línea de ayuda de la agencia federal de FEMA, 7 a.m. a 1 a.m. Hora del Este, 7 días a la semana:

  • 1-800-621-3362 (711 y Servicio de retransmisión de video disponibles)
  • TTY 1-800-462-7585

¿Qué debo hacer si mi solicitud de FEMA es denegada?

Si usted necesita ayuda legal para su reclamo de FEMA o su reclamo es denegado, puede comunicarse con la oficina de Southeast Louisiana Legal Services para ver si califica para recibir ayuda legal gratuita.  Puede presentar su solicitud por teléfono al 1-844-244-7871 o por nuestra página de web aquí.

Declaraciones falsas a la agencia federal de FEMA:

La asistencia de FEMA es un programa federal.  Las declaraciones falsas pueden dar lugar a cargos penales.

Error de pago de FEMA:

Si la agencia federal de FEMA decide más tarde que no debería haberle pagado, ya sea porque cometió un error o cometió fraude, por ley se debe solicitar que se devuelva ese dinero.  Si eso sucede, puede apelar el aviso de deuda. Mantenga todos los recibos y registros durante al menos siete años si usted puede.

*Toda la información es de las páginas de web: FEMA.gov, SSA.gov y DisasterAssistance.gov

La información proporcionada en esta publicación no representa, y no pretende, un asesoramiento legal. Toda la información disponible en este sitio es información general. Si necesita ayuda legal, debe comunicarse con un abogado. Usted puede ser elegible para nuestros servicios legales. Nuestros servicios son gratuitos. Usted puede solicitar nuestros servicios con llamar nuestra línea directa de asistencia legal por desastre al 1-844-244-7871 o por nuestra aplicación electrónica.

¿Puede el personal de un hotel sacarme si no puedo pagar mi tarifa de hotel?

No. Solo la "autoridad legal apropiada" puede removerlo, es decir, un oficial de policía o un ayudante del sheriff. Esto es bajo el Estatuto Revisado de Luisiana § 21:76. Tenga en cuenta: usted puede acceder a todas las leyes a las que se hace referencia en este documento a través de Google.

Registrarse en un hotel con la intención de no pagar se considera "defraudar a un posadero", una ofensa bajo el Estatuto Revisado de Luisiana § 21:21.

¿Puede un hotel sacarme si vivo en un hotel a largo plazo y pago semanalmente?

Si está alquilando una habitación de hotel a largo plazo como su residencia principal y pagando por semana, un juez podría decir que debe ser tratado como inquilino. Si usted es un inquilino, el hotel debe pasar por el proceso de desalojo judicial. En este momento, el gobernador Edwards ha suspendido los desalojos en todo el estado de Luisiana hasta el 24 de septiembre de 2021, por lo que no puede ser desalojado legalmente hasta después de esa fecha. Si este argumento no tiene éxito, para mas información vea abajo esta página.

¿Puede un hotel sacarme si solo he estado en el hotel unas pocas noches?

Incluso si las leyes de desalojo no se aplican a usted, el hotel debe completar varios pasos antes de que puedan llamar a un oficial para sacarlo del hotel. Primero, el hotel debe haberle dado un aviso por escrito de la fecha de salida acordada y la hora de salida cuando usted se registró. En segundo lugar, el hotel debe darle al menos 1 hora de aviso escrito o verbal de que usted debe irse. Esto es bajo el Estatuto Revisado de Luisiana § 21:75.

La ley dice que el oficial no puede desalojarlo de un hotel durante una "emergencia médica grave". Esto es bajo el Estatuto Revisado de Luisiana § 21:76.

¿Hay asistencia para un hotel disponible si soy evacuado debido al Huracán Ida?

Sí, la asistencia de la agencia federal de FEMA puede estar disponible para pagar un hotel.

La agencia federal de FEMA puede proporcionar Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio (Abreviamientos “TSA” en inglés) a los solicitantes que no pueden regresar a sus hogares porque su hogar es inhabitable o inaccesible debido al Huracán Ida.

Bajo la Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio, los sobrevivientes de desastres pueden ser elegibles para quedarse en un hotel o motel aprobado por un período de tiempo limitado y tener el costo de la habitación y los impuestos cubiertos por FEMA. Para aquellos que son elegibles, FEMA autorizará y financiará, a través de pagos directos a los hoteles / moteles participantes, el uso de hoteles / moteles como refugios de transición.  El solicitante es responsable de todos los demás costos, como los cargos incidentales por teléfono, servicio de habitaciones, comida, etc.

Usted puede ser elegible para la Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio si se:

  • Regístrese con la agencia federal de FEMA para obtener ayuda,
  • Si usted es aprobado con la verificación de identidad y ciudadanía,
  • Si su casa está ubicada en un área geográfica que está designada para la Asistencia de Refugio Transitorio,
  • Como resultado del desastre, usted es desplazado de su hogar,
  • No puede obtener alojamiento a través de otro recurso.

Los solicitantes aprobados pueden optar por quedarse en cualquier hotel o instalación en la lista de FEMA en http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php (información está disponible en español) o por la línea telefónica para ayuda de la agencia federal de FEMA.

¿Qué pasa si soy evacuado en un hotel en otro estado?

Las leyes de Luisiana no se aplican a los hoteles en otros estados. Usted debe consultar con la ley del estado que usted esta localizado o hablar con un abogado de ese estado.

¿Necesita asesoramiento legal sobre su situación?

Usted puede calificar para asistencia legal gratuita con Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

  • Para los residentes o personas localizadas en el área de Nueva Orleans: (504) 529-1000 x.223
  • Para los residentes o personas localizadas del North Shore: (985) 345-2130
  • Para los residentes o personas localizadas en el área de Houma: (985) 851-5687

* Tenga en cuenta que la oficina de Houma está cerrada hasta al menos el 9/13 debido a daños del Huracán Ida.

  • Para los residentes o personas localizadas en el área de Baton Rouge: (225)-448-0080

If you missed our live webinar on "Understanding the FEMA Claim and Appeal Process and Disaster Legal Rights," you can watch it below. You can also download the PowerPoint slides here.

 

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

President Biden approved a major disaster declaration that covers Louisiana parishes hit by Hurricane Ida. Homeowners and renters who live in the parishes listed below can apply for possible help with expenses or serious needs resulting from this declared disaster - which are not covered by insurance or other forms of assistance.

What parishes are covered by FEMA for Hurricane Ida?

Residents of:  Ascension , Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena,  St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

What types of assistance are available from FEMA?

Temporary housing, home repair assistance for homeowners, low-cost loans or funds to cover uninsured personal or real property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. FEMA does not cover expenses or losses covered by your insurance.

There are new FEMA assistance programs for survivors of Hurricane Ida:

1. Critical Needs Assistance (CNA):

FEMA may provide financial aid to people with immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are:  life- saving and life-sustaining items including, but not limited to: water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items and fuel for transportation. For Hurricane Ida, CNA provides a one-time award of up to $500.00 per household.

2. Generator and Chainsaw Reimbursement:

Eligible purchasers or rentals of a generator (up to $800) and/or chainsaw ($250) between Aug. 26, 2021 and Sept. 25, 2021 may be approved for FEMA reimbursement if the purchase is not covered by insurance or another source. The applicant must also meet the general eligibility requirements for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.

3. Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA):

FEMA may provide Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) for applicants who are unable to return to their pre-disaster primary residence because their home is either uninhabitable or inaccessible due to Hurricane Ida. TSA is intended to provide survivors with short-term accommodations through direct payments to lodging providers, if they have no way to cover this by insurance or other source.

Under TSA, disaster survivors may be able to stay in an approved hotel or motel for a limited period of time and have the cost of the room and taxes directly paid by FEMA. The applicant must cover all other costs associated with lodging and amenities, including, but not limited to incidental room charges or amenities, such as telephone, room service, food, etc.

FEMA approved applicants may choose any place on FEMA’s list of approved hotels in their area. The list of approved hotels is available at http://www.femaevachotels.com/index.php or the FEMA Helpline. FEMA provides applicants with access and functional needs additional assistance in locating approved hotels to meet their needs.

What if I have homeowners and flood insurance on my house?

You should still apply with FEMA.  Sometimes FEMA may cover some expenses that your insurer does not.  However, FEMA will NOT cover your insurance deductible. If you are insured, FIRST file your insurance claim as soon as possible. You can file with FEMA before you get your insurance company’s decision. FEMA will need to see insurance claim correspondence, including:

  • Denial of your claim letter: Proof that you are not covered under your insurance company and policy.  
  • Settlement letter: What damage and property are covered by your insurance policy. 
  • Delay letter: Proof of no official decision by your insurance company on your claim, and it has been more than 30 days from the time that you filed your insurance claim.

Citizenship Eligibility Requirements:

  • You, or someone who lives with you, must be a U.S. citizen, a non-citizen national or a qualified alien.

Application Checklist:

Have a pen and paper ready and be prepared to give the following information:

  • Social Security Number: You, another adult member or minor child in your household MUST have a Social Security number. Note: You or they must also be a U.S. Citizens, a non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
  • Email Address (optional): You can use an email address to create an account on DissasterAssistance.gov to file and track the status of your claim. If you chose to communicate with the agency by phone or mail only, an email is not necessary. Although the agency has stated that filing a claim with an account on DissasterAssistance.gov is the most efficient route.
  • Insurance Information: Note the type(s) of insurance coverage you have. Like: homeowners, flood, auto, etc.
  • Damage Information: Type of dwelling or vehicle damaged due to Hurricane Ida. Like: Car, Truck, Mobile Home, Condo.
  • Financial Information: At the time of the disaster your total annual household income (before taxes). Like: Gross wages, unemployment insurance benefits, disability.
  • Contact Information:
    1. Provide the address and phone number of the property where the damage occurred.
    2. ALSO, provide the address and phone number where FEMA can reach you now.
  • Direct Deposit Information (optional): Subject to FEMA approval, FEMA can deposit your funds directly into your bank account now with the following information:
    1. Bank Name
    2. Type of Account (checking or savings)
    3. Routing Number
    4. Account Number

Occupancy and Ownership Verification:

FEMA has to verify occupancy and homeownership before it gives some types of help. As of September 2, 2021, to confirm occupancy, FEMA will accept the following:

  • Utility bills,
  • Other bills,
  • Employer’s documents,
  • Leasing/housing agreement,
  • Rent receipts,
  • Public official’s documents/letter (police chief, mayor, postmaster, state or local government),
  • Identification cards,
  • Motor vehicle registrations,
  • Affidavits of residency or other court documents,
  • Letters from local schools (public or private),
  • Letters from federal or state benefit providers,
  • Letters from social service organizations (such as community assistance programs and non-profits).

Additionally, survivors may also now use a signed statement from a commercial or mobile home park owner and provide self-certification for mobile homes and travel trailers.

To confirm ownership, FEMA will now accept the following:

  • Deed or official record,
  • Mortgage documentation,
  • Structural or real property insurance documents, bill or payment record,
  • Property tax receipts or property tax bill,
  • Manufactured home certificate of title,
  • Reals Estate Provisions,
  • Contract for Deed,
  • Land Installment Contract,
  • Quitclaim Deed,
  • Bill of Sale or Bond for Title,
  • Will or Affidavit of Heirship (naming applicant heir to the property and a death certificate),
  • Public official’s documents/letter,
  • Receipts for major repairs or improvements (dated within 5 years of disaster).

FEMA will allow survivors with HEIRSHIP PROPERTIES, MOBILE HOMES, or TRAVEL TRAILERS, who do not have traditional documentation (listed above) to verify ownership to self-certify ownership and qualify for assistance. 

What if my house is under a bond for deed or in a succession?

On September2, 2021, FEMA amended its policies to more easily assist some people who do not yet have formal title to their house.

This should be helpful for those with bond for deeds or where successions on the property has not been done, and other situations where home ownership is difficult to document.  Contact an attorney for information on a succession.

Tips for Your FEMA Claim:

  • Save all documentation that you can. Like: receipts for post-storm expenses for food, gas, lodging, replacement of property, etc.
  • Take pictures of your damages as soon as possible--before anyone starts clearing it out if at all possible.
  • If you are unsure about something, do not guess or enter information you know to be incorrect. It is best to wait to complete an application unit you have gathered all the information that you need.
  • Submitting multiple applications for a single disaster or household, may delay your case AND may lead to FEMA accusing you of fraud or making you pay back duplicated payments.
  • Phone calls from FEMA may seem to come from an unidentified number but there are also scams going on.  If you can handle your FEMA claim online, or at a FEMA disaster center with a FEMA representative, that is much safer.

What should I do if I don't have a social security number or if I've lost my social security card?

  • Visit: ssa.gov
  • You can get an original Social Security card or a replacement card if yours is lost or stolen (at no charge).
  • You can use my Social Security account to request a replacement Social Security card online if you:
    1. Are a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address.
    2. Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card.
    3. Have a driver’s license or a state-issued ID card.

There are other card-replacement options, if necessary, available on the SSA website. Once you have your social security number, you can start FEMA’s application process.

What if my home has damage from Hurricane Ida but my parish is not covered?

Sometimes other parishes are added to the declaration later. You can revisit DisasterAssistance.gov to look up your address to check if your parish is added at a later date.

How can I apply for FEMA assistance?

  1. Online: DisasterAssistance.gov   (quickest way)
  2. Call 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-200-462-7585
  3. Download FEMA App with Apple or Google Play

Where can I get help with my FEMA application?

FEMA Helpline, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET, 7 days a week:

1‑800‑621‑3362 (711 and VRS available)

TTY 1‑800‑462‑7585

What should I do if my FEMA application is denied?

If you cannot tell from the denial, the first thing to do is to try to talk with FEMA staff to see what can be fixed. If the first FEMA call or visit is not helpful, do not give up. The fastest way to fix denials is to correct what you sent in.  So, it is best to try to find out what could fix the problem.

If that does not work, you can appeal the denial but this MUST be done within sixty days of the denial.  Appeal decisions will not come quickly.  Appeals can be submitted by mail, fax, online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov, or in-person at a disaster relief center.

You can call Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to see if we can give you free help with any of this, at 1-844-244-7871. Or you can apply for our help online at https://lastate.kempscaseworks.com/

Do I have to do anything else after I have received FEMA assistance?

Yes, keep all receipts of money you spent related to Hurricane Ida.  FEMA can require you repay money that you do not keep receipts for.

If you received FEMA assistance, you may have to recertify your eligibility to get more, especially if you are getting rent or hotel assistance.  You will need to submit receipts showing how you spent the money and show a lack of adequate other housing.  You might have to show more.

The review can take days or longer.  So, try to do it ahead of when you need more help.

for ongoing support, submitting receipts once every three months documenting disaster-related housing costs and a lack of adequate alternate housing, among other possible required proofs.  Failure to recertify can lead to loss of ongoing assistance.

Can I get a copy of my FEMA file?

Yes, your full FEMA file can be obtained by mailing a request to FEMA - Individuals & Households Program, National Processing Service Center, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055. Include your FEMA application number, identification of the disaster (i.e. Hurricane Ida), your Social Security number, and a current mailing address, among other information.

One can also create an online account on http://www.disasterassistance.gov to view all documents that FEMA sent you, but it may include only the titles of documents that FEMA received from you.  Also usually not included in an online account are FEMA inspection reports, photos, FEMA’s internal notes about your file, conversation notes, or other information.

More information on FEMA and Hurricane Ida assistance in Louisiana can be found at: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4611

Also, here: https://gohsep.la.gov/RESOURCES/DISASTER-ASSISTANCE

False statements to FEMA:

FEMA assistance is a federal program.  False statements can lead to criminal charges.

FEMA payment error:

If FEMA later decides it should not have paid you, either because you made a mistake or you committed fraud, by law it must ask for that money back.  If that happens, you can appeal the notice of debt. Keep all receipts and records for at least seven years if you can.

*All information from FEMA.gov, SSA.gov and DisasterAssistance.gov
La información proporcionada en este artículo no representa, ni pretende, asesoramiento legal. Toda la información disponible en este sitio es solo con fines informativos generales. Si necesita ayuda legal, debe ponerse en contacto con un abogado. Usted puede ser elegible para nuestros servicios legales gratuitos y puede llamarnos a nuestra línea directa legal de Covid al 1-844-244-7871 o aplicar con nuestra aplicación electrónica aquí.

Administrada por la Comisión de la Fuerza Laboral de Luisiana

¿Qué es la Asistencia de Desempleo por Desastre?

El programa de Asistencia de Desempleo por Desastre (DUA  en Ingles) brinda asistencia a personas que han perdido su empleo o su empleo se interrumpió como resultado por un desastre mayor declarado por el Presidente de los Estados Unidos. 25 parroquias de Luisiana califican para la asistencia de DUA como resultado del huracán Ida que ocurrió el 26 de agosto de 2021 y la destrucción que continua.

¿Quién es elegible para DUA?

DUA está disponible para trabajadores desempleados o personas que trabajan por cuenta propia que se quedaron sin empleo como resultado directo del desastre. Típicamente, las personas que trabajan por cuenta propia no califican para recibir beneficios del seguro de desempleo estatal pero si pueden calificar para la asistencia de DUA.

Si ya está recibiendo beneficios del seguro de desempleo estatal debido a COVID-19, no es necesario que solicite DUA y debe continuar presentando sus certificaciones semanales.

Si ya estaba desempleado y no perdió su trabajo como resultado del desastre, no solicite DUA. DUA también está disponible para aquellas personas que se convirtieron en el sostén de la familia, o proveedor principal de apoyo, debido a la muerte del sostén de la familia por resultado directo del desastre.

¿Cuándo puedo hacer mi reclamo para la asistencia de DUA?

Octubre 2 del 2021 es el último día para hacer un reclamo para la asistencia de DUA por razones del Huracán Ida en las parroquias de Ascensión, Asunción, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge,  y West Feliciana.

¿Cómo puedo hacer un reclamo para la asistencia de DUA?

En este momento, las reclamaciones SOLO se pueden completar electrónicamente por la página de www.laworks.net. Se requiere prueba de que usted fue empleado durante el desastre. Esta prueba se requiere dentro 21 días de la fecha que usted aplique para la asistencia de DUA. Se proporcionarán instrucciones para presentar esta documentación requerida. También se solicita su declaración de impuestos (Formulario Federal 1040 y anexos) u otra prueba de empleo (por ejemplo, el Formulario 1099) y los salarios que ganó en el año calendario 2020.

¿Cuánta ayuda puedo esperar recibir?

Las personas elegibles para la asistencia DUA recibirán beneficios semanales de acuerdo con las regulaciones federales y estatales. La duración del beneficio DUA se determina semanalmente hasta 27 semanas. Actualmente, el aumento máximo para esta asistencia son $ 247 cada semana para el estado de Luisiana. Su aumento es basado en los ingresos o netos del individuo si trabaja por cuenta propia para el año fiscal más reciente. El aumento mínimo para esta asistencia de DUA son $ 93 cada semana.

¿Cuánto tiempo pasara antes de recibir mis beneficios?

Los beneficios de DUA se pagarán tan pronto como sea administrativamente posible. En general, los beneficios se mantienen hasta el momento en que se proporciona suficiente evidencia de empleo, y se determina que el desempleo fue un resultado directo del desastre. Cada reclamación debe ser revisada caso por caso. Continúe presentando sus reclamos semanales mientras que esté desempleado por razones del Huracán Ida.

Nuestro objetivo es garantizar que se haga una determinación lo más rápido posible. Por lo general, en Luisiana, las solicitudes de desempleo vienen con lo que se llama una "semana de espera". Esto significa que no se pagan beneficios durante la primera semana que solicita el desempleo. Cuando las personas hacen un reclamo por un desastre y son aprobadas para DUA, no habrá una "semana de espera". Queremos que las personas obtengan sus beneficios lo antes posible.

Cosas a tener en cuenta al presentar un reclamo para asistencia de DUA:

Los beneficios regulares del Seguro de Desempleo (UI en Ingles) reemplazan los beneficios que se requieren con la asistencia de DUA – Cualquier persona elegible para los beneficios regulares del seguro de desempleo, incluso en el momento de un desastre, no será elegible para DUA.

Los reclamos fraudulentos serán procesados, incluyendo tiempo en la cárcel: Usted debe informar la agencia sobre todas sus ganancias cuando usted empieza a trabajar otra vez, no en el tiempo que usted recibe sus ganancias. Razones de separación por denuncias falsas o falsa información de su último empleador también puede considerarse fraudulenta.

Debe informar todas sus ganancias semanalmente: si su empleador le paga durante su ausencia del trabajo o si usted regresa al trabajo, debe informar estas ganancias en su reclamo semanal de pago. El pago de vacaciones también debe informarse en su reclamo semanal de pago para la asistencia de DUA.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Louisiana has often denied unemployment benefits without looking at other ways people can be eligible for the benefits. In the same way, in appeals or fair hearings, the agency often does not look at all ways you can get the benefits.

If this happened to you, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services may still be able to help you get unemployment. Even if you lost your appeal. And even though people can no longer apply for PUA in Louisiana.

Our services are free. You can see if we can help by calling 1-844-244-7871, or by applying online here.

If you were disqualified for regular unemployment benefits, you may still be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA.)

PUA was created for claimants who cannot get regular unemployment benefits, like people who are self-employed, work as freelancers.  But it also covers many people who are disqualified from regular unemployment benefits.

In Louisiana, all unemployment claims are considered for regular unemployment first. The agency fails to look at PUA for some people who do not get PUA.

In other cases, the agency incorrectly starts some claims as regular unemployment. A claimant may receive several months of benefits under this way before LWC detects the error.

When the error is discovered, LWC sends notice that the claimant is not eligible, and other notices that they owe all the money back.

In many of these cases, the agency fails to check to see if the claim could be paid under PUA.

If your unemployment was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and you have been denied unemployment benefits, but your notices do not say anything about PUA then you still be able to get PAU. Attorneys at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services may be able to make sure the agency looks at whether you should get PUA.

Please note, Louisiana ended its PUA program on July 31, 2021. So only people who filed a claim for before then can get this help.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Do You Need Affordable Health Insurance?

New chance to enroll for reduced price, complete health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called Obamacare)

ACA Health Insurance Enrollment
You can enroll in or change Marketplace health insurance plans
February 15, 2021 through August 15, 2021

Whether you are signing up for the first time or want to change your plan under the latest expansion, you must enroll by August 15, 2021.

Heard the Rates are Too High? Financial help lowers costs for 93% of people getting insurance in Louisiana. Financial help can pay for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.

The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March makes health coverage more affordable for more people. You may now be eligible for additional savings and lower costs for “Marketplace” health insurance. Reductions are available even for people who were not eligible for coverage before. If you lost your job due to Covid and are receiving unemployment benefits, you may also be able to get help for your “COBRA” coverage.

How does the new law make healthcare coverage more affordable?
Based on your income, the new law covers more of your insurance premiums, copays, and deductibles.

Those who make up to 150% of the Federal Poverty Level can now get coverage through a “Silver Plan” without having to pay premiums. Those who are eligible for this premium-free coverage have household incomes that are at or below these amounts:

Number of People in Your Household Annual Household Income Monthly Average
1 $19,320 $1,610.00
2 $26,130 $2,177.50
3 $32,940 $2,745.00
4 $39,750 $3,312.50
5 $46,560 $3,880.00
6 $53,370 $4,447.50
7 $60,180 $5,015.00
8 $66,990 $5,582.50
For each additional person, add $6,810 $567.50

Help for premium costs also increases for everyone with incomes up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (or, an annual income of about $106,000 a year for a family of 4).

Are these changes permanent?
No. These changes are temporary and will be in effect during 2021 and 2022.

Are there any changes to help those receiving unemployment benefits?
Yes. People who receive unemployment benefits at any time during 2021 will be eligible for a zero-premium “Silver Plan.” This also includes reductions in copays and deductibles. These changes will only be in place for 2021, unless Congress votes to extend them.

Where do I enroll for healthcare benefits?
There are two options for enrolling on your own:

Visit www.healthcare.gov
or
Call 1-800-318-2596

What if I need help enrolling or finding a plan?
Find an assister to help you find a plan that’s best for you by visiting: https://localhelp.healthcare.gov

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enroll?
Visit http://www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 by August 15, 2021.

If I don’t enroll now, can I enroll later if I get sick or hurt?
Probably not between August 15 and November 1 of 2021.  If you or a family member have to go to the hospital or have other expensive health needs during the year, you may not be able to get coverage after the August 15 deadline.  In November, you can start applying for coverage in 2022.

However, you might qualify for an exception (“special enrollment period”) if you get married, have a baby, adopt a child, or lose your current health insurance. And if your monthly income goes under 138% of the poverty line and you live in Louisiana, you can apply for Medicaid.

What documents will I need to sign up?
For each person in your household, you need social security numbers and information about income and taxes.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying at the "Get Help" section of our website.

*Please note, our services are only available for residents of the following parishes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge Parish, East Feliciana Parish, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Updated February, 18, 2021

Do I need to pay taxes on the stimulus payments I received from the federal government?

No. The federal government sent two rounds of stimulus payments to eligible individuals and their dependents under 17 years old. The first round was for $1200 for adults and $500 for eligibile dependents, and the second round was for $600. This is different from unemployment benefits you may have received. These payments are NOT taxable income, so you do not have to declare them on your 2020 return or pay taxes on them.

What if I did not receive my stimulus payments?

If you did not receive your stimulus payments:

  • Were you claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return? That person may have received the stimulus payment for you.
  • Did you receive a “Refund Anticipation Loan” (RAL) when you filed your 2018 or 2019 return? The tax preparer may have received the stimulus payment in a bank account set up for you. You should contact the tax preparer.
  • Were you divorced or separated in 2020? Your spouse or former spouse may have been sent the stimulus payment.
  • If you did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return and did not register on the IRS website, the IRS may not have known where to send your stimulus payment.

If you have not received your stimulus payment, or believe someone else wrongly received your stimulus payment, you should electronically file a 2020 tax return now, claiming the credits for the stimulus amount.

  • You can do this even if you did not work in 2020 or did not have enough income to need to file.
  • If your claim for a stimulus payment refund is denied by the IRS, you will have 30 days to submit a written appeal.

Do I need to pay taxes on my Unemployment Benefits?

Yes. Unemployment benefits are like wages, and you must report it as income on your tax return if you earned enough income to need to file taxes.

  • You should have federal and state income tax deducted from your unemployment benefits, if possible.
  • The Louisiana Workforce Commission should issue you a 1099, which will tell you how much you received. You’ll use this amount when you file your taxes. If you were not sent a 1099, use your own records to report.

If I withdrew money from an IRA or Retirement Account, will I need to pay taxes on it?

Yes. It is taxable income that must be reported on your tax return.

  • Normally, if you withdraw money before the age of 59 ½ years, you must pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty as well as the usual income tax.
  • Due to the pandemic, Congress has changed the rule for withdrawals made in 2020, so you do not have to pay the early withdrawal penalty.
  • You can also spread the withdrawal over 3 years, if you cannot pay tax.

Organizations that Provide Free Tax Preparing and Filing

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA Program) https://www.unitedwaysela.org/vita

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides taxpayers 60 and older with low income with free tax help.

You can also go to irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep to search for other free providers.

Be sure to protect yourself when filing your taxes or having them filed for you!

If you are filing your own taxes:

  • You can prepare your own taxes using software or forms downloaded at this website. You will have to create an online account to do this and will need to provide an e-mail address.
  • Low Income taxpayers can file electronically for free on this website.

If you are having someone else prepare and file your taxes:

  • Watch out for fraudulent tax preparers putting false information on your return or stealing your identity. Putting false information on your tax return is a crime. Only you are responsible for your tax return. If you receive a fraudulent refund, YOU will have to pay it back, not the tax preparer. Fraudulent tax preparers may try to steal your identity and file false returns in your name. The IRS has put together a directory of qualified tax preparers here.
  • It is illegal for a tax preparer to charge you a percentage of your refund. The preparer should quote you a set fee.
  • The tax preparer must ask you for documentation of your income, deductions, etc. If they do not, your tax return will not have accurate information.
  • DO NOT sign blank or incomplete returns. Your preparer must sign the return with you.
  • DO NOT allow the preparer list a bank account under their name for your refund to be sent to.

The SLLS Tax Clinic cannot electronically file your current tax return.

SLLS may be able to offer free help if you:

  • Federal taxes and cannot repay them.
  • Are being audited.
  • Need to file for Injured or Innocent Spouse relief.
  • Have been the victim of ID theft with the IRS.

To apply for services, call Lynnette Tillis toll-free at (877) 521-6242, extension 225, or apply on our website here. 

*Please note, our services are only available for residents of the following parishes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge Parish, East Feliciana Parish, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana