FEMA to Pay Airfare for Puerto Rico’s María Survivors for 60 More Days

FEMA housing assistance
Puerto Rico image. Getty Images. Website: Abrazo Boricua

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – Survivors of hurricanes Irma and María have until Aug. 30 to take advantage of FEMA’s Transportation Assistance program, which covers the cost of airfare, luggage and pet fees for their return to Puerto Rico from the continental United States.

Another FEMA program called Transitional Sheltering Assistance, or TSA, was extended to July 23 to comply with a court order. The program provides direct payments to hotels to temporarily shelter survivors while they seek other long-term housing solutions.

FEMA covers the costs of the rooms and taxes.

Transportation Assistance provides direct payments to airlines to cover flight expenses for approved applicants, their household members, household pets and service animals. Covered costs also include up to $100 in luggage fees per person.

To be eligible for transportation back to Puerto Rico, a survivor’s primary residence before the storms must have been on the island, and he or she must have been displaced from that residence. Survivors must also have been checked into a TSA-participating hotel on May 3.

FEMA does not cover the costs for meals, ground transportation or shuttle services.

Survivors who use Transportation Assistance have until Aug. 30 to complete their travel back to Puerto Rico.

Survivors can check on their eligibility for transportation assistance and notify FEMA about their travel plans by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).

Survivors still needing help with rental assistance, legal advice, behavior health services, health insurance, furniture and appliances, and employment are referred to the Immediate Disaster Case Management program. Case managers can facilitate access to a broad range of resources on the island.

Hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico and island residents who relocated temporarily to the continental United States are encouraged to call the hotline and speak to a bilingual case manager at 855-742-5993. For TTY, visithttps://www.puertoricorelay.com/TTY. The hotline is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.



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