The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance Program offers housing and other needs assistance grants of up to $26,200. Other needs assistance includes:
- Medical, dental and funeral costs
- Transportation costs
- Legal Counseling
- Other disaster related-needs
GovBenefits.gov helps citizens access government benefit eligibility information through a free, confidential, and easy-to-use online screening tool. After answering some basic questions, the user receives a customized report listing the benefit programs for which the user, or person for whom he or she is entering information, may be eligible.
The United Way has implemented a non-emergency help number to help Mississippi residents meet everyday needs or find a place to volunteer their time. Residents can dial 211 to receive information on the following types of services:
Basic human needs
Physical and mental health
Support for older Americans and persons with disabilities
Support for children, youth and families
Volunteer opportunities and donations
The Hurricane Recovery Job Connection website is a search tool to connect job seekers with employment opportunities.
The Governor's Job Fair Network was created to aid all Mississippians in finding safe and secure employment. This statewide program serves to facilitate interaction for those seeking employment as well as for companies seeking qualified employees.
The U.S. Department of Labor offers several hurricane assistance programs directed to job training and unemployment benefits. The Pathways to Employment initiative helps evacuees and other persons affected by Hurricane Katrina find employment and training opportunities.
The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
National Emergency Grants (NEGs) can be used to temporarily employ dislocated workers. These funds can be used to employ workers on projects that provide food, clothing, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for disaster victims.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) offers several hurricane recovery programs. The Workforce Investment Act National Emergency Grant provides temporary employment, training opportunities, and supportive services to individuals impacted by Hurricane Katrina and dislocated workers.
The Working Your Way Back Home program helps Mississippi Hurricane Katrina evacuees who were displaced 151 miles or more from home get the assistance they need to find a job, or receive the training needed to get a job, and provides reimbursement for travel/relocation expenses. For more information visit a Win Job Center or call 1-888-844-3577.
MDES also offers the following programs through the Workforce Investment Network (WIN) job centers:
- Reintegration Assistance Program – Provides counseling and services to individuals displaced by Hurricane Katrina to assist in meeting basic needs to allow individuals to reenter the workforce.
- Coming Home – Provides information and relocation assistance to help individuals who evacuated the area and who are in need of assistance to return home for training or employment.
- High Growth Job Training – Provides short-term job training in high-growth, high demand occupations at local community and junior colleges.
- Pathways to Construction Job Training – Provides short-term job training for the construction industry at local community and junior colleges and area businesses.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to provide assistance for needy families with children up to age 18. The TANF Up-Front Diversion Program provides a one-time, short-term $1,000 financial assistance payment to meet emergency needs.
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides Personal Property Loans of up to $40,000 to help repair or replace personal property, such as clothing, furniture, automobiles, etc., lost in the disaster.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services offers several programs to provide financial assistance to individuals. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps households pay the cost of home energy bills and other energy related services. The Community Food and Nutrition Program (CF&N) provides nutritional needs to low-income people in communities. Contact your local Community Action Agency or local units of government to apply.
The Internal Revenue Service has announced several tax law changes to benefit persons affected by Hurricane Katrina. Taxpayers may deduct the loss or partial loss of their home, household goods and motor vehicles from hurricane damage on their individual federal income tax return. For a summary of these tax changes, click here. For the complete overview of tax law changes, click here.
The Mississippi Insurance Department has established a special mediation program to facilitate fair and timely handling of residential property claims arising out of Hurricane Katrina.