FEMA Assistance for Residents Impacted by Flooding is Closed

Cook County residents affected by the severe storms and flooding between June 29 – July 2, 2023, may now call, go online or visit a disaster recovery center to register for disaster assistance from FEMA.

The application for FEMA assistance is closed. 

How to Apply

Online Assistance

If you have insurance coverage, first file a claim. If you have uninsured or underinsured losses, contact FEMA by going online to www.fema.gov/disaster/4728, downloading the FEMA app or calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service. When calling the FEMA Helpline, multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish and 3 for other languages).  

In-Person Assistance

If you need in-person assistance, visit a disaster recovery center at any of the locations below. Assistance in languages other than English, including American sign language, and translated materials are available at these centers. Please note: You don’t need to visit a disaster recovery center to apply for FEMA assistance.


Thornton Township High School Dist. T107 Bldg. (Harvey)
Hours: Mon. - Sat.  8 a.m.- 5 p.m. 
15001 Broadway Ave
Harvey, Illinois 60426

Lightford Recreation Center (Maywood)
Hours: Mon. - Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. 
809 Madison St
Maywood, Illinois 60153

Advocate Medical Group - Imani Village (Pullman) 
Hours: Mon. - Sat. 8a.m. - 5p.m. (Closed Sundays)
9501 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Door B
Chicago, IL 60628

Garfield Community Service Center (Garfield Park)
Hours: Mon-Sat. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Closed Sundays)
10 S. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL. 60612

Washington Square Mall (Austin North)
Hours: Mon-Sat. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Closed Sundays)
4851 West North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639

Morton College
Hours: Mon-Sat 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Closed Sundays)
3801 South Central Ave.
Cicero, IL 60804

Columbus Square Fieldhouse (Austin South)
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Closed Sundays)
500 South Central Ave.
Chicago, IL 60644 

Federal assistance may include temporary lodging, basic home repairs and other disaster-related expenses.

Have the following information ready when you register with FEMA: 

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
  • Your social security number (or the social security number of a minor child in your household, if you’re applying on their behalf).
  • A general list of damage and losses
  • Banking information if you choose direct deposit
  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name

When registering, one member of a household needs to comply with citizenship criteria. That means a minor child who is a citizen, non-citizen national or qualified non-citizen can have a parent or guardian who is not eligible apply for assistance on the child’s behalf.   

What to Expect After You Apply

A FEMA inspector may call you to set up a time and date to perform the inspection at the damaged address. If you have filed for assistance and receive a call from an out of state number, pick it up. Be sure to have your application number available. 

During the inspection inspectors will:

  • Observe social distancing guidelines
  • Show their credentials
  • Ask to see a photo ID
  • Ask to see documents to verify the home ownership or occupancy if FEMA has been unable to verify
  • Walk around the interior and exterior of your home if feasible
  • Document damage

Inspectors WON'T decide if you will receive assistance, ask for money, bank account information or credit card information. Residents can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to verify a FEMA visit is legitimate.

Within 10 days after the inspectors visit, you will:

  • Receive a letter of electronic correspondence explaining FEMA's decision
  • If you are determined eligible for assistance, you may receive a U.S. Treasury check or direct deposit

FEMA is Also Going Door to Door

Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams from FEMA are also going door-to-door in Cook County communities, helping disaster-impacted residents navigate the federal assistance process.  

These teams will be visiting homes, businesses and nonprofit organizations in affected areas to help residents register for assistance, identify and address immediate and emerging needs, and make referrals to other local, state and voluntary agencies for additional support.  

DSA teams will never ask for or accept money and will always be wearing a FEMA identification badge with a photograph. A FEMA shirt, vest or jacket is not proof of identity. While helping someone register, they will ask for personal information, including social security number, annual income and bank information. Residents are encouraged to ask for identification before providing any personal information. They can also call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to verify a FEMA visit is legitimate.

Residents do not need to wait for a FEMA representative to knock on their door to file for assistance. Visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4728, download the FEMA app, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or visit a disaster recovery center today.

Know Your Options to Appeal

Cook County residents who disagree with FEMA’s assistance decision have the option to submit an appeal and have their case reconsidered.

After registering for FEMA assistance, applicants receive a letter explaining FEMA’s eligibility decision and the reason for that decision. Read your letter carefully because it specifies why you are not currently eligible and recommends actions that may change the decision.

You may need to provide additional information or documents. For example, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits from other sources, including insurance. However, if your policy doesn’t cover all your essential needs, you may submit your insurance settlement documents for FEMA to review.

Examples of other missing documents may include proof of identity, verification that you owned or occupied the damaged property, or proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster. Additionally, if you told FEMA your home was safe to live in when you registered, but your situation has changed, you can contact the FEMA Helpline by calling 800-621-3362 to have your property inspected and reconsidered for assistance. If you use video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.

How to Appeal a FEMA Decision

Everyone has the right to appeal a FEMA decision. An appeal must be filed in the form of a signed letter, by the applicant, within 60 days of the date on the decision letter. In the appeal, explain why you disagree with the decision. Include any requested information and supporting documentation. Be sure to include the following:

  • Applicant’s full name, current address and phone number
  • Address of the applicant’s pre-disaster primary residence
  • Applicant’s signature and the date
  • Applicant’s registration number (on every page)
  • FEMA disaster declaration number – DR-4728 (on every page)

If the person writing the appeal letter is not the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household, a statement must be included granting the writer authorization to act on your behalf.

Appeal letters and supporting documentation can be uploaded quickly to your account on DisasterAssistance.gov or faxed to 800-827-8112. Please ensure all faxes include the cover sheet provided with your FEMA decision letter.

Your appeal may also be submitted at a Disaster Recovery Center where staff are available to assist you. Disaster Recovery Centers continue to be opened across the affected areas.

Appeals can also be mailed to:

FEMA National Processing Service Center
P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

Additional Resources

July 2023 Disaster Declaration Update One-Pager

How to apply for disaster assistance social media graphic (Facebook)

How to apply for disaster assistance social media graphic (Twitter/X)

How to register for disaster assistance (English)

Disaster assistance citizenship eligibility (English & Español)

Three ways to apply for disaster assistance (English)

Tres formas de solicitar asistencia por desastre (Español)

FEMA - Pomoc Dla Ofiar Katastrof (Polski)

联邦紧急事务管理局(FEMA)救灾援助 (Chinese)

आपदा सहायता (Hindi)

Tulong Sakuna Ng FEMA (Tagalog)

الإعانات في حالات الكوارث (Arabic)

What to expect after you apply for FEMA assistance (English)

Qué debe esperar después de solicitar la asistencia de FEMA (Español)

How to write an appeal (English)

Cómo escribir una carta de apelación (Español)

Replacing lost and damaged documents (English)

FEMA Considerations for Basement Damage (English)

Consideraciones de FEMA sobre daños en el sótano (Español)

Questions and Answers: FEMA Individual Assistance (English) 

Preguntas y Respuestas: Asistencia Individual de FEMA (Español)

For more information, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4728