To stay current on the response to Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, visit NJ 2-1-1. You will find current information on federal disaster assistance, how and where to access shelter and food (Click on “state and local resources”), health and safety tips, and how to avoid hurricane scams and fraud. Visit www.USA.gov/sandy for other useful information.
All Legal Services offices in New Jersey are open. Legal Services will continue to work to help people access benefits, obtain safe affordable housing, and handle other legal issues to help families and our communities recover from Hurricane Sandy.
If you are in need of legal assistance and your income is low, you may apply for Legal Services online at www.lsnjlawhotline.org. You will receive a response within 24 to 48 hours. If you need more immediate assistance, you may contact our statewide Legal Services Hurricane Sandy Hotline at 1-888-222-5765. For more information on the LSNJLAWSM Hotline, see Get Legal Help.
Applications for the Disaster SNAP program are no longer being accepted. However, many affected families will be eligible for regular SNAP benefits and should be encouraged to apply for them. If you are in need of food, visit Food Pantries (from the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition) to find a food pantry in your area.
Some food pantries and soup kitchens in Ocean and Monmouth counties have been closed due to damage sustained by the storm. Find an open food pantry or soup kitchen in Ocean County. Find an open food pantry or soup kitchen in Monmouth County. Operational hours may have changed and supplies may be limited, so be sure to call before you go to verify details. You will need an ID to prove residency and will be asked to declare that you were affected by the disaster.
The federal disaster relief program, FEMA, is now accepting applications for assistance from residents of all counties in New Jersey. FEMA has extended the registration deadline to May 1, 2013. You can apply for rental payments for temporary housing, grants to pay for home repairs and replacement of essential household items and personal property, and unemployment payments for those who lost jobs because of the disaster. There are also low-interest loans available for uninsured losses.
Apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov
Apply by smartphone at m.fema.gov
Apply by phone by calling (800) 621-3362 or TTY (800) 462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, 7 days a week.
Applicants must provide their Social Security numbers, type of insurance coverage if any, gross family income, address and phone number of damaged property, and current address and phone number. Certain non-citizens may be eligible for FEMA aid. See How FEMA Aid Applies To Undocumented Immigrants (from FEMA) for information about immigrant eligibility.
Also see Help After a Disaster: Applicant’s Guide to the Individuals & Households Program (available in multiple languages) for a helpful guide and overview about the FEMA application process.
If you have private insurance coverage, you must file a claim as soon as possible. Failure to do so may affect your eligibility for FEMA assistance. Here is a helpful link for tips on how to file an insurance claim. Guide to filing insurance claims after Hurricane Sandy: http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/pressreleases/pr121031.html.
Information about counseling or dealing with emotional problems after Hurricane Sandy
For confidential mental health information and referrals during times of wide-spread disaster, call the New Jersey Disaster Mental Health HelpLine at (877) 294-HELP (4357) or the TTY line for the deaf and hearing impaired at (877) 294-4356.
See New Jersey Hope for more information and a helpful brochure from the New Jersey Department of Human Services.