"It is your responsibility to push for the maximum amounts and use the grant wisely."
I am not saying to be ugly to FEMA. If you use the facts and your actual needs for a FEMA grant you'll most likely get it.
In one case, the homeowners residence was uninhabitable. FEMA offered a hotel room in another town, then offered an apartment a little closer. The homeowner asked for a manufactured home be setup on the property. FEMA denied that option, the homeowner refused the rental offers and purchased a small trailer to live on the property. FEMA then awarded the maximum grant award to complete basic repairs to the structure to live in it. The $33,000 grant was 1/5th of the amount of money needed to make the damaged home inhabitable. The homeowner opened a new bank account and placed the $33,000 in the bank to hold and didn't spend a dime until it was combined with other grants to complete the repairs needed.
Today that grant award is $37,900 which is a 5.9% increase according to FEMA. It's up to you to gentle but firmly ask for the assistance you need. Your key to disaster recovery is to repair or replace your home with the least amount of personal unrecoverable debt. Each household will have different financial demands and financial status. The leveling is that all households in a federally declared disaster area have dwellings that are damaged. Your household financial status will not impact your ability to request the $37,900 grant. What will impact your grant request is your actual need for the assistance. You must explain your needs logically and keep in mind you are not to embellish or falsely create the need for grant assistance. Your FEMA Grant will be counted as a duplication of benefits for future grants if you apply for additional assistance. It will not be counted as a duplication of benefits and decrease your homeowners insurance or your National Flood Insurance amount. It is for temporary repairs to assist you with housing. It is not to be used to purchase anything other than what is clearly indicated in the letter you will receive detailing the grant fund program. If the letter is not clear then it's to be put aside until you are briefed in what you can and can not use the FEMA grant fund on. Spending time now will save you thousands of dollars later.
Federal Register Announcement: 86 FR 63046
This adjustment applies to emergencies and major disasters declared on or after October 1, 2021.
Section 408 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act), 42 U.S.C. 5174, prescribes that FEMA must annually adjust the maximum amount for assistance provided under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP). FEMA gives notice that the maximum amount of IHP financial assistance provided to an individual or household under section 408 of the Stafford Act with respect to any single emergency or major disaster is $37,900 for housing assistance and $37,900 for other needs assistance. The increase in award amount is for any single emergency or major disaster declared on or after October 1, 2021. In addition, in accordance with 44 CFR 61.17(c), this increases the maximum amount of available coverage under any Group Flood Insurance Policy (GFIP) issued.
FEMA bases the adjustment on an increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers of 5.3 percent for the 12-month period, which ended in August 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor released the information on September 14, 2021.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 97.048, Federal Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs.
FEMA may have awarded you up to 30,000 or even $37,900 in Individual and Households grants called IHP and they may have listed that this grant is for Home Repairs. Your letter from FEMA will say home repairs and you might think everything in your home is repairable which is the wrong way of thinking about these grants.