Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content
Help (new window)
Navigate Up
Legal Services of New Jersey

Apply Online for Legal Help

Government Aid and Services
Immigrant Eligibility for Assistance after Sandy

​If you are an immigrant and are in need of assistance due to Hurricane Sandy, you may be eligible for FEMA benefits and/or services. Below is a brief overview of the different types of FEMA benefits and immigrant eligibility for each one.

Individuals and Households Program Assistance

Under this program, FEMA provides cash assistance for housing needs and other expenses caused by a disaster. Only “qualified immigrants” are eligible for this type of cash assistance. Qualified immigrants are:

(1) Lawful permanent residents (LPRs or “green card” holders);

(2) Refugees, asylees, and persons granted withholding of deportation/removal;

(3) Persons granted conditional entry (in effect prior to April 1, 1980), or paroled into the U.S. for at least one year (e.g., for “humanitarian purposes”);

(4) Cuban/Haitian entrants;

(5) Battered spouses of an LPR or U.S. citizen (and their children), or battered children of an LPR or US citizen (and their other parent), who have applied for immigration relief;

(6) Victims of trafficking.

Note: If you are not a qualified immigrant and cannot apply for FEMA benefits yourself, you can still apply on behalf of your U.S. citizen child (under 18), or another adult household member who is a qualified immigrant can apply for the household. If you apply on behalf of your child, FEMA will NOT record or keep any information about your own immigration status.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

FEMA also provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to individuals who have become unemployed because of major disasters such as Sandy. All qualified immigrants (listed above) are eligible for this assistance, as long as they are authorized to work in the United States (i.e., they have a green card or a work permit).

Short-term, noncash, in-kind emergency disaster assistance

ALL immigrants, regardless of their status, are eligible for short-term, noncash disaster relief, such as crisis counseling, disaster legal services, emergency shelter, food, and medical care.

How to apply for FEMA assistance

The deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance expired on May 1, 2013. If you did not already apply for assistance, you can still contact FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) to see if your late application might be evaluated.​

This information last reviewed: 8/10/2015
LSNJ's Hurricane Sandy Hotline Video