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Red Cross announces details of Hurricane Laura financial assistance effort

In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, the American Red Cross has worked closely with partners to support emergency housing efforts and provide food, water, relief supplies, emotional support and health services to people in need.

The Red Cross is now starting an effort to get emergency financial assistance into the hands of Texas and Louisiana residents whose homes were severely impacted by Laura.

This financial assistance will allow people to make their own decisions and prioritize what their family needs most to start recovering. Funds can help families replace clothes or food, offset transportation costs, or support any other immediate need.

Spending these funds locally will also support local communities as they begin recovering.

Eligibility

The Red Cross is providing $450 to households whose homes were confirmed to have been destroyed or sustained major damage from Hurricane Laura.

To be eligible for immediate financial assistance, households must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Applicant’s pre-disaster primary residence is located in a confirmed disaster-impacted geographic area.
  • Applicant is the head of household and is not listed as a household member on any other Red Cross assistance
  • Applicant’s primary residence suffered major damage or was destroyed.
  • Major damage is indicated by significant structural damage to a residence that requires extensive repairs. This may include substantial failure of the roof, walls or foundation, or a water line above 18 inches.
  • A residence that is destroyed is one that is a total loss or with damage so extensive that repair is not feasible.
  • Applicant’s identity and proof of residence details can be verified.

Enrollment

The majority of households will receive an invitation to complete an application through an email, text message or phone call directly from the Red Cross over the next several weeks.

People who fall into this category include those whose homes have been verified by the Red Cross, FEMA or another agency to have sustained major damage or have been destroyed. In addition, the Red Cross must have contact information for these households in order to reach them.

The Red Cross will also work with partners and community advocates to reach people whose homes were destroyed or sustained major damage. This includes people who may face barriers to accessing disaster assistance such as people who do not speak English, are not American citizens, or have difficulty accessing services. In these instances, applicants will be invited to apply over the phone with a Red Cross worker once an enrollment period is announced.

After a household’s application is approved, Red Cross immediate financial assistance will be delivered through one of several electronic funds transfer (EFT) methods including PayPal, Mastercard Send, Zelle or Walmart Direct2Cash.

For PayPal, enter your PayPal account email to receive payment to associated debit card or bank account. For Mastercard Send and Zelle, enter your debit card information associated with any financial institution to receive payment directly to your account. For Walmart Direct2Cash, enter your email or mobile phone number that can receive text message to receive reference number to pick up cash at any Walmart store.

All Red Cross services, including financial assistance, are available to individuals regardless of nationality, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.

The Red Cross is a charity, not a government agency and people do not need to be American citizens to receive our help. Red Cross financial assistance is not a loan and does not need to be repaid.

Even as the Red Cross delivers emergency relief, such as food, shelter and immediate financial assistance, we’re looking to the future and planning how to help affected communities and families recover in the months and years ahead.

For example, depending on available resources, we may be able to provide additional support, such as financial assistance for the hardest-hit households or grants to other community organizations with expertise in certain specialized recovery services. The Red Cross also provides financial assistance for verified, disaster-caused health and mental health needs.

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