I need help looking for a missing person. What are my resources?
The County has an official list of people who remain unaccounted for, linked here
. An unofficial list is also being updated and maintained by citizens of Hawaii, linked here
. Additionally, anyone searching for a missing person may also call 1-800-RED-CROSS and select Option 4.
I need access to mental health resources. What are my options?
Local crisis counselors are available 24/7 via phone, text, or chat to connect you with resources. If you have a phone number with an 808 area code, you can call or text 988, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you do not have a phone number with an 808 area code, call the hotline directly at (808-832-3100) or toll-free (800-753-6879). You can also chat with an online counselor at https://988lifeline.org/chat
, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I want to file a claim, but I also need urgent financial/housing assistance. Is there assistance available to me in the meantime while I wait for my litigation claims to be resolved?
If you are eligible, you can apply for FEMA assistance.
What is FEMA?
FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA offers assistance for individuals and households in need due to any federal disaster.
What is the fastest way to apply for FEMA assistance?
The fastest way to apply is through disasterassistance.gov
. However, you can also apply through the FEMA mobile app or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362.
What are the eligibility requirements for FEMA assistance?
In order to be eligible for FEMA assistance:
- The applicant or a member of the household requesting assistance must be a US citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien. However, if the applicant is undocumented, but the applicant’s child is a US citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien, the application can be made in the child’s name.
- The damaged property must be the applicant’s permanent residence or the place where the applicant resides for the majority of the year.
How many FEMA applications may be submitted per household?
Who is considered part of a household for FEMA purposes?
FEMA considers everyone residing together at the time of the disaster as one household, such as two roommates sharing an apartment.
How is FEMA assistance money allocated between household members?
FEMA only provides one award of assistance. It will be up to members of a household to share and allocate the money between themselves.
Does FEMA assistance have to be paid back?
Generally, no, as long as the FEMA assistance was used for the purposes stated in their FEMA award letter. If the FEMA assistance is not used for this stated purpose, the applicant may have to repay FEMA for any assistance received.
Is FEMA assistance taxable income?
No, FEMA assistance is not taxable income.
Is FEMA assistance counted as a resource for eligibility in any needs-based government assistance?
No. FEMA assistance should not affect your eligibility for any needs-based government assistance.
Does FEMA provide assistance for temporary housing?
Yes, FEMA may award assistance for temporary housing to applicants whose primary residence cannot be safely lived in. Assistance may be in the form of money to be used to rent another place to live while repairs are being made on the primary residence, or FEMA might provide assistance in the form of government housing.
How long is FEMA temporary housing assistance provided for?
The assistance can be available for up to 18 months from the date of disaster declaration if the applicant can show a continuing need.
Can FEMA assistance be used to pay my friends or family to stay with them?
No, it may not.
Does FEMA offer assistance with the costs of repairs of my house if it was damaged by the wildfires?
Yes. However, any money awarded for repairs may not be used to repair your house to a better condition than it was before the disaster unless it is required by current housing and building codes.
Does FEMA offer assistance with replacing my house if it was destroyed by the wildfires?
Yes, FEMA will offer assistance to supplement any replacement need that is not covered by insurance.
I need help with paying for medical/dental expenses/funeral costs/replacement of personal property/etc. after the wildfires. Does FEMA provide assistance for this?
Most likely. FEMA will provide assistance for any necessary and serious needs caused by the wildfires.
What are other available resources to find temporary housing?
You may find temporary housing through Maui Nui Strong. However, to qualify for hotel shelters, you still must first register with FEMA.
Additionally, anyone with an urgent need for housing may fill out a form with the Hawaii Fire Housing Relief Program to connect you with property owners with available housing.
How long should I keep documents and receipts on how I used my FEMA assistance?
Documents and receipts should be kept for three years from the date of the disaster proclamation.
I lost my job because of the wildfires. Can I apply for unemployment benefits?
Yes, you may apply for disaster unemployment insurance benefits if:
- Your job is no longer available due to the wildfires
- You can no longer get a job due to the wildfires
- Your place of employment is closed because of the wildfires
- You are the new head of household looking for work after the former head of household died in the wildfires
- You have a wildfire-related injury
The wildfire must be the direct cause of the direct cause of why you cannot return to work.
Where do I apply for disaster unemployment insurance benefits?
If I receive money through GoFundMe, will I still be able to receive compensation from FEMA?
It depends. FEMA will not duplicate benefits you receive from another source. If you receive money from a GoFundMe page for a specific disaster-related expense--such as home repairs, funeral expenses, or other emergency needs—you may not be able to receive FEMA aid for the same expense. However, you may still receive other types of FEMA benefits.
I need food assistance. What are my resources?
Maui Food Bank and the Hawai’i Island Food Bank have been providing food assistance for those affected by the fires.
You may also apply for the Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
What is the Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program?
It is a program that allows disaster survivors who were eligible for food stamps at the time of the disaster to replace the food that was lost during the disaster by reissuing that month’s food assistance allotment.
What if I need additional food assistance because of a loss of income or due to damage expenses?
You may apply for supplemental food assistance, which will be one month of additional food assistance. After that month, you will receive the amount of food stamps you qualify for under the traditional food stamp program.
What if I am not traditionally eligible for food stamps but need assistance?
You may still be eligible for the Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program if you had disaster-related expenses, had to repair your home, had to move to a new place, or lost your job due to the wildfire. You will be eligible for one month of disaster food assistance.
How do I apply for the Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program?
I am on the island of Maui and cannot pay my rent right now due to the disaster. Can my landlord evict me?
No. The Governor issued an emergency proclamation on August 19, 2023, prohibiting evictions for nonpayment of rent, maintenance, utility, or other fees on the island of Maui during the proclamation period.
Even though there is an eviction moratorium, I received court papers related to an eviction with a hearing date. What should I do?
You should attend the hearing date and raise the proclamation moratorium as a defense.
I lost my Hawaii Driver’s License due to the wildfires. How can I replace it?
You can go to any DMV in the county and replace it for $6.00. You will need to provide other identification documents such as a birth certificate, passport, permanent resident card, another document that shows your full name and Social Security number (Social Security card, paystub, W-2, etc.), and two documents showing your current address.
If you do not have any of these other forms of identification, you can call Maui Motor Vehicle and Licensing at 808-270-7363.
I lost my birth/marriage certificate. How can I replace it?
You can place an order online at https://vitrec.ehawaii.gov.
A relative may make the order on your behalf by uploading a copy of their own government ID (if born in Hawaii) to establish a relationship to you. If they were not born in Hawaii, additional documents may need to be shown to verify the relationship. Permitted relatives can include a grandparent, parent, child, sibling, aunt, uncle, or cousin.
The fee for an affected individual’s first copy of a birth or marriage certificate will be waived with a FEMA disaster assistance ID Number and/or a Lahaina residential address.