(KTXL) — President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration in California, which makes federal funding available to homeowners and business owners in Sacramento, Merced, and Santa Cruz counties as they recover from the physical and economic damages caused by back-to-back storms.

The aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is to be used to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides since Dec. 27, 2022. 

According to the White House, federal assistance includes grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help homeowners and business owners recover. 

Who is eligible to receive disaster assistance?

According to FEMA, applications for assistance are verified to ensure the identity of the person applying, that person’s existing insurance coverage and their ownership of the home or business.

People that apply for assistance for their home need to prove that the dwelling is their primary residence.

Although insurance policies may cover some of the damages, FEMA says that disaster assistance may provide additional coverage if the primary policy was not sufficient enough to cover expenses.

While eligibility may vary depending on the existing insurance and the type of assistance being requested, the federal disaster assistance is for people who had housing, business or personal property damaged, according to FEMA.

The application process to receive disaster assistance

You can begin the application process here or by calling FEMA at 1-800-621-3362. If you opt to do it online, you’ll start by entering your ZIP code to see if your region qualifies.

According to the application site, before applying, you will need these items in order to complete the registration:

•A social security number or the social security number of a child in the house who is a U.S. Citizen, Non-Citizen National or Qualified Alien
•Household income
•Contact information such as phone number, email address, damaged home address and a mailing address
•Insurance information
•Bank account information so that if you are granted financial assistance the money will be deposited there

The application requires that you agree to the federal Privacy Act and an information disclosure, which are necessary so that the federal government can use your information to determine eligibility for certain programs.

You will also need to input what damages you are applying for, such as a vehicle, business assistance, funeral assistance or child care.

The application is then followed by several pages that require personal information inputted, followed by several pages to determine what existing insurance covers or does not cover.

After the application is completed, FEMA says that it will contact you through the email address regarding your claims and if there is anything else needed in order to receive assistance.

An inspector will also schedule a time to review the damages and determine if your existing insurance covers them.