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More Than $10 Million in FEMA Assistance Approved for Cook County Survivors

CHICAGO – As of Thursday, December 7, FEMA assistance to Cook County survivors affected by the Sept. 17 - 18 storms and flooding topped $10 million.

Here is a snapshot of FEMA disaster assistance as of December 7:

  • More than 3,000 households have been approved for FEMA grant funding totaling $10.5 million, including:
    • $9.4million in housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.
    • $1.1 million approved for other essential disaster-related needs, such as expenses related to medical, dental, and lost personal possessions.
  • Nearly 4,800 home inspections have been completed.
  • To-date, 700 Cook County homeowners and renters have been helped at two open FEMA recovery centers.
  • FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance crews have visited nearly 5,800 homes and 150 businesses; they have interacted with almost 1,500 survivors and have registered 125 households for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available

For those who lost work because of the Sept. 17-18 disaster, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is now accepting applications for DUA benefits from individuals in Cook County whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted due to the flooding. Claimants are eligible to receive up to 35 weeks of DUA benefits as long as their unemployment continues to be a result of the disaster. Applications for DUA benefits must be filed by December 27, 2023.

To file a DUA benefits claim, individuals are encouraged to:

  • Contact the IDES call center appointment line at: 217-558-0401.
  • Identify they are calling related to the Cook County Flood – DUA Benefits.
  • Schedule an appointment to visit the Lawrence, Pilsen, or Woodlawn American Job Center to file a DUA benefits claim.

Claimants must first apply for and be found ineligible for regular state unemployment insurance benefits before applying for DUA benefits. IDES will work with individuals on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility and payment(s) of DUA benefits. For more information, visit IDES Accepting Disaster Unemployment Assistance Applications After Cook County Flooding (illinois.gov).

Reminder: Apply with FEMA 
Residents of Cook County with uninsured or under insured losses from the September 17 - 18 severe storms and flooding are encouraged to apply for federal assistance if they haven’t done so already.

There are several ways to start the process:

  • Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Use the FEMA mobile app
  • Call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. Multilingual operators are available. If you use video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service. 
  • Visit a disaster recovery center. The centers serve as one-stop shops for survivors who need one-on-one help. Survivors can visit any center for assistance. To find center locations and current hours, visit FEMA.gov/DRC

For more information about Cook County’s recovery, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4749. The deadline to apply for disaster assistance is January 19, 2024.      

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Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status. Reasonable accommodations, including translation and American Sign Language interpreters via Video Relay Service will be available to ensure effective communication with applicants with limited English proficiency, disabilities, and access and functional needs. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.