Some (but not all), Texans can apply for individual federal help after winter storm
As Texas continues to thaw from a record-setting and deadly winter storm, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Saturday all 254 counties will receive federal public assistance after President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state.
Not all Texans, however, will be able to file for individual federal assistance, which can include low-cost loans and grants to make home repairs due to the storm.
Abbott on Thursday requested a major disaster declaration for the state for "individual assistance and public assistance" in all of its counties.
The White House announced Biden declared a major disaster in Texas but approved Abbott's request for individual assistance in 77 counties and for public assistance — emergency protective measures only — in all 254 counties.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, emergency protective measures can include equipment, evacuation, sheltering, safety gear, supplies and medical care and transportation assistance to local governments.
Biden's declaration provides federal assistance to aid state and local recovery efforts in areas of Texas that were affected by severe winter storms beginning Feb. 11, according to a White House news release.
Biden said Friday that he plans to visit Texas in the next week but will only go when he determines his presence won't be a "burden."
"The answer is yes," Biden said of a visit to Texas, adding his plan originally was to go in the middle of the week. "But I don’t want to be a burden. When the president lands in a city in America it has a long tail."
What kind of assistance will be provided?
Individual assistance can include "grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster," according to the White House.
Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations "on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures and hazard mitigation measures statewide," according to a news release.
Abbott stated both he and the Texas Division of Emergency Management will continue to work to ensure the federal government provides appropriate assistance to individual Texans as well as to the state and local governments.
"I thank President Biden for his assistance as we respond to impacts of winter weather across our state," Abbott stated in a news release. "While this partial approval is an important first step, Texas will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure all eligible Texans have access to the relief they need."
"The funds provided under the Major Disaster Declaration may provide crucial assistance to Texans as they begin to repair their homes and address property damage," Abbott stated.
These Texas counties have federal funding for individuals
Biden's declaration has made federal funding available to individuals affected by the winter storm in the following counties:
Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise Counties.
How to apply
Individuals and business owners in the eligible counties who sustained losses from the winter storm can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585.