Individuals and Households Assistance Program

Individuals Assistance Program Overview

The FEMA Individuals and Households Assistance Program provides money or direct assistance to eligible individuals, families, and businesses in a Presidentially-declared disaster area whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance. 

Unlike the Public Assistance Program, there are no set thresholds that counties must meet to be deemed eligible for the Individuals and Households Assistance Program (IHP).  In making an IHP declaration recommendation to the President, FEMA assesses various factors such as concentration of damages, frequency of disasters in the area, insurance coverage for damaged structures, level of damages, socioeconomic data of the affected area, and economic impact.

The maximum amount of IA assistance for 2016 is $33,000.  The maximum IHP award limit is adjusted by FEMA at the beginning of each Federal fiscal year (October 1) to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index.

There are multiple types of IHP assistance available as described below.  

Housing Assistance may be available to applicants displaced from their pre-disaster primary residences or when their residences are rendered unsafe, unsanitary, or nonfunctional; when the applicants are under-insured or have no insurance to provide for housing needs.  Housing assistance may be issued for:

  • Temporary Housing – money to rent a different place to live
  • Repair – money to repair disaster damage not covered by insurance to make the home safe, sanitary, and functional.  FEMA will not provide funding to restore a home to pre-disaster condition
  • Replacement – money to replace or rebuild a disaster-damaged home
  • Permanent and semi-permanent housing funding in rare circumstances

Other Needs Assistance is a cost share program with FEMA paying 75% and the state contributing the remaining 25% of the awarded assistance.  This program assists disaster victims with funds to meet necessary expenses for serious needs.  Forms of assistance include money for:

  • Repair or replacement of damaged and destroyed personal property not covered by insurance, such as clothing, furnishings, appliances, etc.
  • Repair or replacement of an individual’s primary means of transportation which is no longer usable because of disaster-related damage
  • Medical and dental expenses required because of physical injuries received because of the disaster
  • Funeral expenses, if the death was caused by the disaster
  • Moving and storage expenses necessary to avoid additional damage to personal property

FEMA Releases New Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide

February 2019

FEMA developed the Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide (IAPPG), which is an inclusive, single-policy resource for all Individual Assistance (IA) programs.  The new guide consolidates policies for the Individuals and Households Program Fact Sheet, Mass Care and Emergency Assistance, and the Community Services Program into one document.  The guide also replaces the Individuals and Households Program Unified Guidance (IHPUG) as the primary reference resource for IA programs.

The IAPPG provides a comprehensive policy resource for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, non-governmental partners, and other entities that assist survivors during disasters.  Resources written specifically for disaster survivors can be found at

The IAPPG furthers the goal of reducing the complexity of FEMA as outlined in the agency’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.