10000 Grant Categories

Revision 21-1; Effective August 10, 2021


10100 General Criteria

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009




10110 Serious Need and Necessary Expense

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020


The criteria of serious need and necessary expense are applied to all categories of grant assistance. Serious need for an item or service is present if the item or service is essential for an applicant to reduce or overcome a disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse condition. A necessary expense is the cost of the item or service. Grants are awarded either to fill serious needs or to reimburse applicants for necessary expenses already incurred.

"Serious need" and "necessary expense" are synonymous terms and imply that the grant program is intended to provide funds for essential items and services. It is not intended to fully indemnify disaster losses (that is, restore the recipient fully to pre-disaster condition), or to purchase items or services that may generally be characterized as nonessential, luxury, or decorative. For an item to be considered a “serious need” and deemed a “necessary expense,” the item must be eligible based on category-specific policy and have an acceptable verification of disaster-caused damages. In addition, federal regulations require grants to meet needs but prohibit the program from duplicating benefits. Essential items or services paid for by private insurance coverage or by other disaster assistance organizations must not be duplicated by grant funds. The terms "serious need" and "necessary expense" imply that all disaster losses are not covered by the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) provision of Individuals and Households Program (IHP) unless the loss creates a hardship. For example, if damage occurred to three bedrooms of furniture in a single-person household, ONA would pay only one bedroom allowance. Likewise, if an applicant owned two televisions and one was damaged and one not, ONA would not pay for the damaged unit. Although a television may be an essential appliance, the applicant has access to the second undamaged one and therefore, the replacement of the damaged television is not essential.

The maximum grant amount that may be awarded to an individual or family is limited by federal law. The 2002 Disaster Mitigation Act established a maximum grant, to be adjusted annually. Each federal fiscal year the maximum amount is adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index.


10120 Eligibility Test

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009


The worker applies the following eligibility test guidelines in making a grant determination:

  1. Is the item or service in an eligible category of assistance?
  2. Is the need for the item or service a direct result of the disaster?
  3. Is the item or service essential to the applicant in this particular instance; that is, is there a serious need for the item or service — is it a necessary expense?
  4. Is the applicant unable to meet the need for the item or service from another program or resource?

Example: The applicant claims that his vehicle was damaged by flood.

  1. Is transportation an eligible category of assistance?
  2. Is the need for vehicle repair a direct result of the disaster (and within the incidence period)?
  3. Is vehicle repair essential to the applicant's present situation? (Is there a serious need to repair this vehicle, or does he have a second, undamaged vehicle that would meet his transportation needs?)
  4. Is the applicant unable to meet the need for vehicle repair from another resource? (Has SBA declined a loan? Was there no insurance coverage that would cover essential repair expenses?)


10130 Duplication of Benefits

Revision 21-1; Effective August 10, 2021


The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA's) National Processing Service Center (NPSC) operates as a clearinghouse for exchange of information on assistance provided to applicants by disaster aid programs and private insurance. This information is shared with programs to avoid duplicating disaster assistance benefits. Once ONA staff approve or deny a grant, the information is entered by ONA staff in FEMA's National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS) computer system. This enables FEMA to keep and share a complete record of disaster aid provided to all victims who have registered for assistance.

The ONA provision of IHP prevents duplication of benefits by deducting other assistance for a particular need or expense from the total serious need and necessary expenses amount. However, assistance from other means does not include the value of expendable items. As described in Section 2000, Definitions and Acronyms, expendable items are defined as linens, clothes and basic kitchenware (pots, pans, utensils, dinnerware, flatware, small kitchen appliances).

Assistance from other means includes, but is not limited to:


The ONA provision of IHP may award grants for the applicant's emergency needs if there is an unreasonable delay in receiving assistance from other services. If the applicant is awarded an ONA emergency grant, he must reimburse the department when assistance from another source is received. For example, if the applicant has insurance coverage that should meet his essential needs for repairs but the insurance company is bankrupt or in receivership, the settlement may be delayed for months. In this case, a grant may be provided with the condition that the applicant repay any portion of the grant that is later covered by the insurance settlement. (See Section 10210.2, Insurance Considerations.)

The following chart illustrates possible duplication of benefits by agencies participating in disaster assistance programs.

Duplication of Benefits
ONA Category Other Sources of Assistance
1. Personal Property
  1. Insurance – Contents settlement
  2. SBA – Personal property loan
  3. ARC – May provide clothing, furniture, appliances, work tools and medical equipment. Expendable items such as clothing and basic kitchenware (pots, pans, etc.) are not duplications.
2. Transportation
  1. Insurance – Settlement on vehicle
  2. SBA – Personal property/transportation loan
  3. ARC – May provide funds for vehicle repair
3. Medical/Dental
  1. Insurance
  2. ARC – May pay medical costs
4. Funeral
  1. Insurance
  2. ARC – May provide funds
5. Flood Insurance
  1. Existing flood insurance policy
6. Moving and Storage
  1. Insurance
7. Child Care
  1. Insurance
  2. FEMA's Public Assistance Program
8. Other  


10200 Standard for Other Needs Assistance

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009



10210 Eligibility Criteria and Guidelines

Revision 05-1; Effective October 1, 2004


This section describes the overall eligibility criteria and guidelines HHSC will use to process the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) provision of the Federal Assistance to Individuals and Households Program (IHP) under the Stafford Act 42 U.S.C. 5174(e).


10210.1 Housing

Revision 05-1; Effective October 1, 2004


Under the provisions of the IHP:


10210.2 Insurance Considerations

Revision 09-1; Effective July 20, 2009


During registration, the applicant reports any type(s) of insurance coverage. If the applicant has insurance to cover the losses incurred during the disaster, the application will not be referred to Other Needs until the applicant provides the necessary insurance documentation to FEMA that the settlement will be significantly delayed, denied or insufficient to meet his or her needs. (See exception in Item 10130, Duplication of Benefits.)

If an applicant has necessary expenses and serious needs not covered by insurance, they are referred to Other Needs even though they may have insurance for other necessary expenses and serious needs. Some categories also must be considered for the Small Business Administration (SBA) prior to being referred to Other Needs. For example, an applicant's residence is destroyed by a tornado. The applicant has homeowner's insurance, but does not have medical insurance. The application for medical assistance is routed for review, even though the applicant's homeowner's insurance or SBA loan may cover damage to the residence.

Insured applicants must exhaust all means of insurance coverage (for example, flood, homeowner's, medical, dental and funeral) up to the policy maximum or be denied additional compensation from their insurer to be considered for ONA assistance. Insurance coverage (and SBA loans) will limit ONA program grants by reducing the grant amount to avoid duplication of benefits. If there is a single cause of damage, the reduction is not based on a line item list; it is based only on the total FEMA verified loss, less the applicant's insurance award (including deductible). If there are multiple causes of damage (for example, flood and wind-driven rain) then line item payments must be considered to avoid duplication of benefits.

FEMA Verified Loss
– SBA Loan Amount
– Applicant's Insurance Award
– Applicant's Insurance Deductible 
= ONA Grant Award


10210.3 SBA Considerations

Revision 21-1; Effective August 10, 2021


Applicants must first apply for an SBA loan to be considered for SBA-dependent ONA.  The SBA-dependent ONA categories are Transportation, Personal Property and Group Flood Insurance Policy. Applicants who receive partial SBA loans with the SBA code of DECFdl will also be referred for SBA-dependent ONA. 

Medical, Dental, Moving and Storage, and Miscellaneous are known as non-SBA dependent ONA categories and no referral from the SBA is required prior to processing.

The income test: For SBA dependent categories, whether the applicant is immediately referred to SBA or ONA depends on his or her ability to repay a low-interest loan. Applicants with an SBA code of FIT (failed income test) are immediately referred for all ONA categories. SBA provides FEMA with income test tables that determine if the applicant's income is sufficient to repay an SBA loan.

The income test is conducted on behalf of SBA for the mutual benefit of FEMA and SBA. If the applicant's income is below the amount SBA considers necessary to support a loan, the application is routed for review. An application whose income level is at or above the amount SBA considers necessary to support a loan is referred to SBA.

Self-employment: Applicants whose primary source of income is from self-employment and who sustain business losses are automatically referred to SBA. However, if an applicant fails the income test, he or she will be referred to ONA for non-business-related expenses or serious needs.

Example: An applicant, when registering for assistance, says that he designs web pages as a contractor in his apartment. He states that he has extensive damage to both his computer equipment and his furniture in his bedroom. This applicant also reports that he needs to move and find another place to live. The applicant will be inspected for real and personal property damage by the inspector for non-business-related losses. The inspector will not record his computer as an eligible expense. His income was below the income test; therefore, the application was referred to ONA.

SBA may refer an applicant to ONA in one of the following ways:

The NEMIS database is used to track an applicant's status with regard to SBA. When applications are entered into the NEMIS database, referrals to ONA through the income test or through summary declines are electronically forwarded. If the applicant must complete an SBA loan application, this is recorded in the database, and the application is not forwarded to ONA until SBA formally declines the application or provides a limited loan approval. FEMA will not conduct SBA policy reviews.

Refusal to apply for, or to accept, an SBA loan: If the applicant is referred to SBA through the income test but refuses to submit a loan application to SBA, the applicant is ineligible for assistance from ONA that is SBA dependent. Similarly, if an applicant refuses to accept an SBA loan or to accept the full amount of the loan, he or she is ineligible for SBA dependent ONA.

Late SBA applications: FEMA will accept applications to the IHP for 60 days after the declaration date, or for as long as applications are accepted. In some cases, the formal decline issued by SBA occurs after the application period has expired. If the applicant applied to SBA in a timely manner and was subsequently referred to ONA by SBA after the application period, FEMA will accept and process the application. SBA determines if it should accept an untimely loan application based on the circumstances involved. If SBA accepted the loan application, FEMA will subsequently accept and process an application for ONA.


10210.4 Processing Applications

Revision 07-1; Effective May 1, 2007


After an application has been taken, processing is determined by the needs of the applicant and his status with regard to insurance, SBA and ONA.

SBA status and inspections: An applicant with only personal property and/or transportation damage who has passed the income test will not receive a FEMA inspection. After the applicant is 1) formally denied by SBA, or 2) has received a loan from SBA that is insufficient to meet his necessary expenses and serious needs, an inspection will be conducted.

Once the applicant has received an SBA decline, and appropriate verification has been performed, the application is routed to ONA for processing.

Withdrawal from ONA: An application may be withdrawn from ONA as described below. In all cases, FEMA will notify the applicant by letter.

Information Updates: NEMIS must be updated to reflect all actions taken regarding an application. These actions include, but are not limited to:

Note: When the state administers the ONA provisions of IHP, all mail correspondence will be FEMA's responsibility.

FEMA will retain all documents related to the application review and the eligibility determination for a period of three years after close-out to comply with FEMA manual records management file requirements.


10210.5 Verification

Revision 10-1; Effective May 10, 2010

Necessary expenses and serious needs are verified through on-site inspections or by using supporting documentation (for example, estimates, bills, receipts or written statements) submitted by the applicant. It should be noted verification does not require follow up via telephone calls to confirm the expense, unless the authenticity of the document is in question.

Handling of Original Documents

Normal eligibility case processing may require specific additional documents to complete the case. Those documents are to be sent from the applicant (either by mail or fax) directly to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Processing Service Center (NPSC) to be scanned into the applicant’s permanent file. The caseworker may then complete the case by viewing those documents in the FEMA National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS).

Only the Special Needs Unit and the Hearings Unit may request that applicants send documents directly to the Emergency Services Program office. The following are procedures for the handling of original documents from the applicant:

  1. Special Needs/Hearings caseworker receives original documents (either by mail or fax).
  2. Special Needs/Hearings caseworker then makes sure the applicant’s name and registration ID number are on each page, and faxes the documents to FEMA NPSC, using the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) Coversheet.
    *Note: The Coversheet is used so that an additional ONA work packet is not created in NEMIS.
  3. Special Needs/Hearings caseworker then makes a copy of the original documents and mails the original documents, including the ONA Coversheet, to FEMA NPSC using overnight delivery.
  4. Special Needs/Hearings caseworker checks the applicant’s case periodically to ensure that the original documents were received by NPSC and have been scanned into the applicant’s permanent file in NEMIS.
  5. Once it has been confirmed that the original documents have been received by NPSC and have been scanned into NEMIS, the Special Needs/Hearings caseworker may then shred the copies of the applicant’s original documents.


10210.6 General Conditions of Eligibility 

Revision 07-1; Effective May 1, 2007


To be eligible for ONA an applicant must fulfill all of the following conditions, in addition to any category-specific conditions.

An applicant must:


10210.7 General Conditions for Denial

Revision 07-1; Effective May 1, 2007


An applicant may be denied for all or portions of ONA if any of the following conditions are true:


10210.8 ONA Specific Guidelines

Revision 21-1; Effective August 10, 2021


A necessary expense or serious need is not restricted to an incurred loss. An applicant may have a need that is not a replacement of a lost or damaged item. The examples below illustrate this concept.

There may be daily, weekly or even monthly recurring costs. ONA may assist with these recurring costs until the serious need or necessary expense is no longer required, or until the maximum award is exhausted, or the performance period ends (the performance period is 18 months after the disaster declaration). ONA will not assist with normal recurring costs the applicant was responsible for before the disaster.

The cost of estimates and service calls is an eligible expense, when the applicant is subsequently determined eligible for the associated item or service.

ONA cannot award a grant amount for less than $50 unless FEMA or ONA has made a prior award over $50 on the same registration.

Example: The inspector records a single electric fan in an occupied bedroom. The line item cost for the fan is $25. The applicant was previously awarded $1,300 by FEMA for rental assistance. The applicant may now be considered for the $25 award.


10210.9 Medical and Dental Guidelines

Revision 20-2; Effective November 18, 2020


Texas may provide financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to individuals and households with medical or dental expenses caused by a disaster. Unlike most other forms of IHP assistance, an applicant seeking medical or dental assistance does not need to live in the presidentially declared disaster area to be considered for the assistance. Any person who incurs disaster-caused medical or dental expenses may apply for and, if eligible, receive medical or dental assistance.


Conditions of Eligibility

To receive an ONA award for medical or dental expenses, an applicant must submit a claim for insurance, if applicable, or for Medicaid or Medicare, and provide ONA with information regarding benefits received and or expected. The applicant must provide the medical enclosure statement if he or she does not have health insurance.

Medical or dental insurance settlements must be provided if the applicant has medical or dental insurance.

Note: Medicare (Parts A, B and D) does not cover most dental services, including dentures.  More information can be found on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov.

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility in Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility, applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive medical or dental assistance:

ADA defines a service dog as “dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people living with disabilities.” These tasks may include things like alerting people who are deaf, guiding people who are visually impaired, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder during an anxiety attack, reminding someone to take prescription medications, or protecting a person who is experiencing a seizure. The ADA does not recognize dogs who solely provide emotional support or comfort as service animals. See https://www.servicedogcertifications.org/ada-service-dog-laws/.

Note: An ADA certified service animal is not the same as an emotional support animal. ONA does not cover any disaster-related illnesses, injuries or deaths to emotional support animals.


Required Documentation for Medical and Dental Expenses

Required documentation must indicate the expense was caused by the disaster, is medically required and includes the amount of the expense.

Disaster-caused injury or illness documentation includes both of the following:

Medical or dental providers may include audiologists, rehabilitation specialists or state-based agencies who can verify an applicant’s disability and need for a device or equipment.

Replacement of prescribed medication documentation includes all of the following:

Loss or damage of medical or dental equipment documentation includes all of the following:

Required documentation verifying the loss or injury of a service animal includes all of the following:

Note: Any statement submitted from a medical provider must have a real or electronic signature with verifiable contact information.


Eligible Expenses

All of the following medical and dental expenses that are directly related to the disaster and within the incident period may be awarded assistance.


Limitations and Exclusions 

Examples for Pre-Disaster Condition, Disability or Medical Condition (Exacerbated)

  1. Applicant was in a car accident two years prior to the disaster and has had monthly chiropractic visits. While trying to evacuate during the hurricane, the applicant reinjured his back trying to remove debris from the road. The chiropractor verifies that the applicant has had an injury and the visits would need to increase to three times a month. This increase in care will be needed for the next four consecutive months.
  2.  Applicant is an asthmatic and had to go to the hospital due to mold exposure from water coming into her home. Applicant provides medical documentation to support her claim.
  3.  Applicant relies on a motorized wheelchair for his daily needs. The wheelchair was destroyed while the applicant was attempting to evacuate and requires replacement. Applicant provides medical documentation to support his claim.
  4.  Applicant has worn a prosthetic chest plate for the last six months due to reconstructive surgery from breast cancer. Applicant waded through flood waters to get to safety and the breastplate was waterlogged. Due to the flood water, the breastplate began to grow mold and needed to be replaced. This is an eligible medical expense.

Specific Conditions for Denial

An applicant may be denied for all medical or dental grant awards if any of the following conditions are true:

10210.10 Funeral Guidelines

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020


Funeral assistance is financial aid provided to an individual or household that experiences unexpected, uninsured or underinsured expenses associated with the death of an immediate family member when the death is attributed to an event that is declared a major disaster or emergency. The State Administrative Plan maximum allowance for funerals is $9,000 per death up to the IHP maximum. This amount is subject to change.

Unlike most forms of IHP assistance, an applicant seeking funeral assistance does not need to live in a presidentially declared disaster area to be considered for assistance.

The types of disaster-related funeral expenses for which assistance may be provided per death are:

The following expenses are eligible for reinterment:


Funeral Assistance Key Terms

Conditions of Eligibility

In addition to meeting general consideration of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions to receive funeral assistance:


Required Documentation

An applicant must submit:


Limitations and Exclusions 


10210.11 Personal Property Guidelines

Revision 21-1; Effective August 10, 2021


Texas may provide financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to repair or replace personal property damaged or destroyed due to a disaster. The ONA Administrative Option Section form includes a list of eligible items, also known as the Standard Personal Property Line Items list that may be considered for assistance. The state of Texas can request that items be added to, or removed from, the list within 72 hours of an IA declaration. 

FEMA and the state of Texas establish a maximum quantity that may be awarded for each personal property item. FEMA calculates the award amount for each item according to the consumer price index data for items of average quality, size and capacity in the area where the damage occurred. The assistance is intended to meet the basic needs of the household, not to restore personal property items to a pre-disaster condition. The program is not intended to indemnify all disaster losses.

When applicants reside in the same damaged pre-disaster residence and are not classified by FEMA as roommates or boarders, the owner or head of household will be considered responsible for the personal property in the common living areas up to the quantity limit. 

However, a household member could be eligible if the owner, head of household or landlord has not met the item quantity limit. The household members may be awarded the minimum amount of assistance to meet the household needs, not to exceed the quantity limit.  

FEMA will record personal property as being unaffected or needing repair or replacement during inspection of the applicant’s damaged primary residence. FEMA assistance to repair and replace personal property falls within the following categories:

Conditions for Eligibility

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive personal property assistance:


General Inspection Verification Guidelines

Assistance will generally be awarded based upon the recorded line item by the inspector during on-site verification. Items will not be recorded unless they are determined to need professional repair (cleaning) or replacement. It is expected that items minimally affected will be cleaned by the applicant. These cleaning costs are not eligible.

The level of damage will be recorded by the inspector as X (damaged but repairable or cleanable); Y (some items repairable, others should be replaced); Z (replace all); or NA (not affected).

Inspection History Verification Types

During any FEMA inspection, the inspector will use one of the following loss verification types: Viewed During Inspection or Verbal Damage Supports Claim.

Applicants must also meet specific eligibility requirements for each category of item for which they are requesting personal property assistance. These include:

Applicants may be asked to provide the following documentation for essential tools not verified during a FEMA inspection: 

Accessible Items

FEMA also provides assistance for damaged personal property items required for applicants with disabilities. The list includes accessible beds, raised toilet seats, accessible refrigerators, accessible washers, and computers or adaptive technology when utilized as the sole means of communication for a household member with a disability. Motorized and non-motorized wheelchairs, shower chairs, visual/vibrating fire signals and walkers are also eligible items. 

Limitations and Exclusions 


10210.11.1 Stored Personal Property

Revision 20-1; Effective June 1, 2020


Damage to personal property items in commercial storage or in transit to a new primary residence at the time of the disaster may be eligible if the items are serious needs or necessary expenses, as determined by the inspector or by ONA staff upon receipt of serious need verification from the applicant. Damaged personal property items that were in storage at the time of the disaster for more than 60 days are generally not considered a serious need, as they were not being used at the time of the disaster and their loss does not create a hardship. However, if the applicant can provide evidence that they were going to move to a new location and were planning on moving within a reasonable period of time (accepted a job, signed a lease or bought a home at a new location, etc.), then a grant for the essential stored items may be allowed.

Items damaged in transit are generally considered nonessential. This would include items damaged in a vehicle during an evacuation, unless the need is determined to be essential through submission of verifiable bill, estimate, receipt or invoice indicating disaster-related damage, or with verification through a FEMA inspection. 


Required Verification

Stored Personal Property Limitations and Exclusions



10210.12 Transportation Guidelines

Revision 21-1; Effective August 10, 2021


Texas may provide financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to individuals and households with disaster-caused vehicle repair or replacement expenses. Unlike most other forms of IHP assistance, an applicant seeking transportation assistance does not need to live in the presidentially-declared disaster area to be considered for the assistance.

The state uses the ONA Administrative Option Selection form to establish the maximum amount of transportation assistance (i.e., transportation repair and transportation replacement) that may be awarded. The amount of transportation repair and replacement assistance awarded is based on the degree of damage and the repair and replacement maximum.


Eligible Expenses

Following are types of disaster-related transportation expenses, not to exceed $9,000 per vehicle (value to be adjusted in January each year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all consumer goods).

Assistance may be provided for repairs to an automobile, van, truck, boat, motorcycle, bike, or other vehicle that are not cosmetic. Cosmetic items are not related to the safe operation of the vehicle (for example, body work, molding, trim, bumpers, and paint). Eligible items that are related to health and safety include carpet, seats, and headliners. The grant award for transportation repairs is $550 up to $9,000, the maximum replacement amount for a vehicle.

Note: If automatic determination (Auto-D) is switched on, and the FEMA inspector determines that the vehicle is repairable, the applicant will automatically be awarded $550 for minimal repair and towing.

Eligible items for disaster-related transportation expenses include:


Specific Conditions for Eligibility


Considerations for Second Vehicles

Justification that more than one vehicle is necessary to meet the needs of the household and the applicant does not have sufficient unaffected/operational vehicles to meet this need. This applies for one or two disaster-affected vehicles. The applicant certifies in writing the damaged vehicle is essential for the household’s daily usage, presents circumstances and explains the serious need for a second vehicle. Supporting documents will be reviewed, when available, but are not required if the written justification/circumstance is sufficient for processing.


Considerations for Vehicles Registered to a Non-household Member

If the vehicle meets the requirement of liability insurance and is registered (or insured) to a non-household member, verify if there is information within the file indicating the documented owner “gave” the vehicle to the applicant (e.g., due to credit issues, etc.) and the applicant is responsible for all maintenance, upkeep, fees, etc.

Examples Related to Vehicle Repair and Replacement: The following examples demonstrate that the lump sum payment method does not consider the value of the vehicle or any outstanding loans on the vehicle. The applicant would receive $550 for repairs based solely on the FEMA inspector's determination that the vehicle is need of repair. 


Considerations Related to Transportation

A family may demonstrate the need for repairs to, or replacement of, more than one vehicle. The family will need to demonstrate that the additional vehicle is integral in the daily maintenance of the household (work, school, regularly scheduled long-term medical appointments, etc.)





Specific Reasons for Denial


10210.13 Moving and Storage Guidelines

Revision 20-2; Effective November 18, 2020


Texas may provide assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP for disaster-related moving and storage of essential personal property following a disaster event. Generally, this includes storage of personal property while repairs are being made to the primary residence and returning the property to the applicant’s primary residence. 

ONA may provide assistance with eligible moving and storage expenses through the period of assistance or up to the IHP financial assistance maximum award, whichever comes first.


Conditions for Eligibility

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive moving and storage Assistance:


Eligible Expenses

Moving and storage assistance may be provided for, but is not limited to, all the following expenses:

Note: Homeowner and renter insurance policies do not generally cover moving and storage expenses and a settlement is not required prior to an eligible payment. If a structure or content insurance settlement is available on file, agents will review the document(s) received to verify if any special allowances include coverage for moving and storage expenses.


Ineligible Expenses 

All of the following expenses are ineligible:

Note: Many flood insurance policies provide up to $1,000 in moving expenses. As FEMA is unable to duplicate assistance from other sources, applicants who have flood insurance will have to submit documentation to show they have exhausted funds allocated under their policy for moving expenses prior to being considered for FEMA’s moving and storage assistance.

Required Documentation

Applicants must submit:

Limitations and Exclusions



10210.14 Child Care Guidelines

Revision 20-2; Effective November 18, 2020


Eligible Expenses

Texas may provide assistance for disaster-related child care expenses under a provision of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. These expenses include the fee for service of providing child care, registration fees, and health screenings. The award is a one-time payment for child care assistance for the household’s increased financial burden. The maximum amount of assistance is $2,000 and up to eight weeks of child care, or the maximum allowed amount for child care, whichever is less. Child care is considered a non-SBA dependent category.


Specific Conditions of Eligibility

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility, applicants must have a disaster-caused increase in financial burden for child care, regardless of whether child care expenses were required prior to the disaster, because:

Applicants must certify they cannot utilize child care services provided by any other source (e.g., other federal assistance for child care, private employer child care services, etc.) in order to qualify for child care assistance.

For applicants with child care expenses prior to the disaster, FEMA compares the percentage of the household’s gross income spent for child care expenses before the disaster to the percentage spent following the disaster to determine if the post-disaster child care costs create a financial burden. 

Example: If the household’s pre-disaster income was $3,500 per week and pre-disaster child care costs were $750 per week, child care costs were 21.4% of the household’s income pre-disaster. If the post-disaster income is $3,500 per week and post-disaster child care costs are $1,000 per week, child care costs are now 28.6% of the household’s income post-disaster.

If the percentage of household gross income spent on child care post-disaster is higher than the percentage of household gross income spent on child care pre-disaster, the household has an increased financial burden for child care and may be eligible for assistance. In the example above, the percentage of the household’s gross income spent on child care is 7.2% higher than the percentage of the household’s gross income spent on child care pre-disaster. Because the household has an increased burden for child care, they may be eligible for the increased percentage.

The applicant’s post-disaster child care provider must be licensed, regulated or registered under applicable government law to qualify for assistance.

The following items are eligible expenses for child care assistance:


Required Documentation

For FEMA to determine a disaster-caused need for child care assistance, an applicant who had child care expenses pre-disaster must submit:

An applicant who did not have child care expenses pre-disaster, and has incurred or will incur child care expenses as a result of the disaster, must submit:




Specific Reasons for Denial


Limitations and Exclusions


10210.15 Miscellaneous Expenses Guidelines

Revision 20-2; Effective November 18, 2020


Texas may provide financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to individuals and households with certain disaster-caused miscellaneous expenses. Eligible items must be purchased or rented after the incident to assist with the applicant’s disaster recovery, such as gaining access to the property or assisting with cleaning efforts. Items damaged by the disaster that were owned prior to the disaster will be considered under “Personal Property Assistance.” The state of Texas, in consultation with FEMA, has identified standard miscellaneous line items. However, the state of Texas may elect not to include all of these items as eligible for reimbursement:

Note: The assistance is awarded on the line item costs established by FEMA's pricing contractor. When the expense is not established through the contracting agent, the state will pay the actual cost. The state reserves the right to establish a maximum allowable amount for that item.

The generator is purchased or rented because of an event that results in an emergency or major disaster declaration by the president. For the purposes of this policy, the qualifying incident period for the event starts at the date the governor declared a state of emergency and ends at the closure of the incident date published by FEMA in the Federal Register, or the date power is restored to the applicant's dwelling, whichever occurs first.


Consideration for Miscellaneous Expenses

The item may be purchased, rented or leased.

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive assistance for miscellaneous items: 

Reimbursement of rental cost will not exceed established retail purchase pricing guidelines for a 5.5 kw generator.




Limitations and Exclusions

Generator expenses only:

Chainsaw expenses only:

Specific Reasons for Denial

Expenses incurred for generators purchased, leased or rented outside the established time frame are not eligible for reimbursement. Generators that are not needed for medical necessity are not eligible. 


10210.16 Critical Needs Assistance (CNA)

Revision 21-1; Effective August 10, 2021


Texas may provide financial assistance under the ONA provision of the IHP to applicants who have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are lifesaving 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.


Program Request and Approval

The state of Texas must submit a written request to FEMA to implement CNA. FEMA’s Individual Assistance Division director may authorize assistance when the majority of applicants from the declared area are, or will be, displaced from their primary residence for an extended period of time, generally seven days or more. The state of Texas will have 14 days from the date of the declaration to submit the request for CNA. CNA will be approved for the initial 14-day period from the date of the presidential declaration. When necessary based on applicant need, this period of assistance may be extended by the FEMA Individual Assistance Division director, if requested by the state of Texas.

Conditions of Eligibility

Applicants will be considered for assistance if all the following apply:


Limitations and Exclusions

Unless otherwise indicated by the state of Texas:

CNA will be awarded as a one-time payment and will always be auto-determined by FEMA. ONA will not manually process this type of assistance. There is no ineligibility letter and there is no appeal for this expedited award.


10210.16.1 Clean and Removal Assistance (CRA)

Revision 21-1; Effective August 10, 2021


Texas may provide a limited amount of financial assistance to homeowners with disaster-caused real property damage who do not qualify for home repair assistance because the damage did not render the home uninhabitable. CRA is intended to ensure contamination from floodwaters is addressed in a timely manner to prevent additional losses and potential health and safety concerns. Individual property owners will be responsible for performing or contracting for services to remove contaminants and disinfect surface areas of their homes that have been affected by floodwater.


Program Request and Approval

The state must submit a written request to FEMA to implement CRA. The GAR or TAR must submit a written request for CRA to the FCO. CRA may only be requested in disasters where “flood” is listed as an incident type. CRA must be approved by the RA prior to implementation. The eligibility period for CRA will correspond to the standard FEMA registration period of 60 days, but will not include extension periods unless specifically authorized by the RA.


Conditions of Eligibility

In addition to meeting general conditions of eligibility (see Section 10210.6, General Conditions of Eligibility), applicants must meet the following conditions in order to receive CRA:


Limitations and Exclusions


10210.17 Group Flood Insurance Policy

Revision 20-2; Effective November 18, 2020


Eligible Expenses

Texas may provide assistance for purchasing a Group Flood Insurance Policy (GFIP). The financial assistance will be provided on behalf of the applicant to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).


Specific Conditions for Eligibility



Specific Reasons for Denial


Considerations for Group Insurance Premiums



Payment of the GFIP will usually be based upon the personal property payment of ONA with a FEMA flood insurance requirement within NEMIS.


10210.18 Unspecified Types of Assistance and Items

Revision 14-1; Effective January 31, 2014


The state may determine that other specific services needed for recovery expenses are eligible on a case-by-case basis. This category is reserved for services and items that are currently unspecified, but are necessary expenses and serious needs that are unique to a specific disaster. The final decision on these items will be made by the GCO and SCO.


10210.19 Notification

Revision 14-1; Effective January 31, 2014


Applicants are entitled to prompt notification of assistance decisions by letter. The state will use letters in NEMIS to notify applicants of their eligibility. The letters will be mailed to the applicant by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Processing Service Center (NPSC), as FEMA handles all correspondence under the "Joint" administration of ONA. The state will create its own letters addressing recoupments and appeals considerations. A copy of all state-generated letters will be provided to the application case file in NEMIS.

Types of notification letters:


Line Item Specific Guidelines

A damaged helmet will be determined eligible when the inspector determines that a mode of transportation that requires a helmet exists in the household.