Hurricane Sandy Recovery: Resources and Information for New Yorkers (We’ll be updating this list regularly, so check back often!)

Here is a comprehensive list of resources and information available to help New Yorkers, business, and nonprofits with recovery efforts.  We’ll be updating frequently so check back often.  If you need immediate disaster assistance contact FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 or the NYS emergency assistance hotline: 855-NYS-SAND(Y) or 855-697-7263. 

Please note the deadline to apply for FEMA and Small Business Administration loans has been extended to 3/29.  Click here for more info.

Read this information in Spanish – Lea esta información en Español.

 Click on the links below to be taken to the resources available for that issue:

Frequently Asked Questions

US Government Resources

New York State Resources

NYC Resources

Free Disaster Legal Aid and Mediation Assistance

 

US Government ResourcesPhotobucket

1. Stay current on the federal government response to Hurricane Sandy at USA.gov/sandy. You’ll find information on federal disaster assistance, health and safety tips, how to donate and volunteer, what government is doing, and how to avoid hurricane scams and fraud.

2. Internal Revenue Services (IRS): The IRS provides tax counseling and assistance to taxpayers whose property has been damaged or lost in a Federally declared disaster area.  Taxpayers also have the option to deduct non-reimbursed casualty losses that occurred in a Federally declared disaster area in the year the disaster occurred or file an amended return and deduct the loss in the year immediately preceding the year the disaster occurred. For more info click here.

  • The IRS website also includes information and videos on tax help for disaster victims and other disaster tax relief.  To visit their page which they are updating frequently with information, click here.
  • If you are unable to meet your tax obligation, the IRS may be able to assist with payment and filing extensions, and if qualified, with an expedited tax refund for casualty losses.  You can call the IRS Disaster Hotline at 1-866-562-5227 to find out what type of administrative tax relief is available.   Click here for press release.
  • For assistance in calculating any disaster loss, please call 1-800-829-3676 and order Publication 2194, Disaster Resource Guide for Individuals and Businesses.  If you have access to the Internet you may log onto www.irs.gov and use the keyword “disaster” to view additional information. 

3. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds customers affected by Hurricane Sandy of certain U.S. immigration benefits or relief that may be available to them.  For more information on how eligible individuals may request or apply for temporary relief measures and more click here

4. Small Business Administration (SBA):  Renters and homeowners, a group that includes most sole proprietors, can borrow up to $40,000 for repairs and to replace things like appliances, furniture, automobiles, and clothing.  The SBA also provides low interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes (including nonprofits), up to $2 million. To be eligible for SBA assistance, businesses or nonprofits must have sustained physical or economic damage and be located in a disaster declared county. People who own homes can apply for as much as $200,000 for repairs to their primary residences. 

If you have any questions the SBA has set up a disaster assistance hotline at 1 (800) 659-2955.  For application information, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/business-physical-disaster-loans or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Also visit  their website to learn more and apply.

  • SBA has opened up two Business Recovery Centers in Brooklyn and Long Island to provide one-on-one help in applying for disaster assistance for losses caused by Hurricane Sandy.  The Centers are opening as indicated below, until further notice:

**  Kings Co. IKEA – Brooklyn 1 Beard Street (Coney Island Room) Brooklyn, NY  11231Hours: Mon – Sun, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

**  Nassau Co. Farmingdale State College SBDC Training Center 2350 Broad Hollow Rd Farmingdale, NY  11735.  Hours: Mon – Fri,   9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sat and Sun, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 5. US Department of Housing and Urban Development: HUD has a page on with useful information and hotlines you can call if you are facing a fair housing discrimination issues as well as information on rules they are waiving for families looking for rental housing and families facing foreclosure post-Sandy.  To read this info click here.

7. The Disaster Fraud Task Force of the Department of Justice will combat all types of fraud relating to disasters and their aftermath, with an emphasis on charity fraud, emergency-benefit fraud, identity theft, insurance fraud, and procurement fraud. For more information go to: http://www.justice.gov/criminal/disasters/about/report-fraud.htm.

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New York State ResourcesPhotobucket

    Ongoing Assistance

1. NYS Hurricane Sandy Emergency Assistance Hotline: 855-NYS-SAND(Y) or 855-697-7263.

2. Call the New York Temporary Assistance Hotline to find out if you are eligible for temporary cash assistance.  Their number is 1-800-342-3009.  To learn more about temporary assistance and the application process click here.

4. Senator Gillibrand has created a guidebook with information about emergency disaster assistance grants, loans, tax credits, and other programs to help New Yorkers recover from the storm’s devastation.  To access the resource guide that will be updated daily click here.

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Public Benefits and Assistance

1. For more information on Hurricane Sandy’s impact on public benefits offices, Fair Hearings, or Job Centers, click here.

2. Hurricane Sandy Resources on Health Benefits Access- Emergency Rules & Deadlines Extended Click here for comprehensive information for Medicare and Medicaid recipients and others dealing with health benefit related questions.

3. A guide to help NYC residents figure out how the disaster affects their current benefits, information on how to apply for new assistance, and more - Disaster Relief Legal Assistance Manual You can also review this Hurricane Sandy Helping Handbook for individuals, families, and business for additional information on benefits available and how to apply.

4. Access to Disaster Benefits for Immigrants without Status.  This resource provides an overview of immigrant eligibility to federal and state disaster benefits.  Click here to read it. This resource is also available in Español – Clic aquí para leer “Acceso a beneficios de desastre para inmigrantes sin estatus migratorio.”


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Consumer Issues (including Insurance and Price Gouging)

1. Governor Cuomo Announces Homeowners Will Not Have to Pay Hurricane Deductibles on insurance claims. Read more hereThe NYS Department of Financial Services has activated a Disaster Hotline to answer consumer questions and help with problems. The Disaster Hotline number is 800-339-1759. It is staffed Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 8 PM and Saturday – Sunday from 9 AM – 4 PM.  If you are having problems with your insurance claims, you can also file a complaint with them here.


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Health (including Mental Health)

1. Distress Counseling for New Yorkers: If you are feeling overwhelmed by the consequences of Hurricane Sandy, you can contact any of these groups for free mental health services:

2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Call 1-800-985-5990; disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/ via @samhsagov
@distressline#recovery

3. Disaster Distress HelpLine:
call 1-800-985-5990; TTY 1-800-846-8517
or Text TalkWithUs to 66746

4. FEMA and MHA-NJ toll free Disaster Mental Health Helpline:
1-877-294-HELP (4357). A TTY line is available for persons who are deaf and hearing impaired at 1-877-294-4356.

5. LIFENET 1-800-543-3638, Spanish 1-877-AYUDESE (298-3373), Mandarin, Chinese & Korean 1-877-990-8585.

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NYC Resources  Photobucket

Local Assistance

1. Visit a NYC Restoration Center for information and assistance.  The Four NYC Restoration Centers can assist you with:

      • NYC Rapid Repairs
      • Food and Nutrition Assistance
      • Temporary Housing Information
      • Health and Medical Benefits
      • Business Restoration
      • Counseling Services
      • Financial Assistance
      • Personal Records and Information

To find out the location of the closest NYC Restoration Center to you click here.

2. NYC Rapid Repairs, this new program launched by Mayor Bloomberg will send teams of contractors and City inspectors to areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Click here to read the press release:

      • Crews work to quickly and efficiently repair damaged homes
      • Under unprecedented partnership with FEMA, City will coordinate all repair work
      • Homeowners can sign up on nyc.gov or 311 to secure; they must also register for a FEMA ID number from disasterassistance.gov or 1-800-621-3362.

3. Suffering from domestic violence? This handout discusses how natural disasters can lead to increased risk for violence and how you can stay safe.  NYC residents suffering from domestic violence can also call Urban Justice Center’s Domestic Violence Project (DVP) Intake and Hotline Number at: 718-875-5062 for help.

4.  NYC students who have been displaced from their homes have important school rights.  If you are experiencing this problem, please call the NYS-TEACHS Hotline: 800-388-2014.  Click on this flyer to read about them and what you can do:  NYC Displaced Students.  This flyer is also available in Spanish and RussianParents can also call the Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline at 866-427-6033 from 10AM to 4PM, Monday through Thursday.

5.   Con Edison — Residential customers may file this claim form, for up to a maximum of $450, for actual losses of food spoiled due to lack of refrigerationThis form is available in Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and other languages here: Con Ed Claim Forms.

6. Long Island Disaster Assistance Guide: Click here to read the online version.

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Housing Issues and Housing Court

1. Are you a tenant in NYC that needs repairs to your apartment due to Hurricane Sandy?  Did you have to evacuate the apartment and are not sure if you have to pay rent for those days?  This Tenants’ Hurricane Survival Guide provides answers to commonly-asked questions regarding tenant housing issues after Hurricane Sandy.

Assistance for NYC Businesses and Nonprofits

1. The Federal Emergency Management Authority’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program uses governmental funds to buy waterlogged properties at pre-storm market value from the owners, who can then take the money to relocate to a less flood-prone area. Primarily designed for homeowners, FEMA has made hazard mitigation grants available to business owners. Contact FEMA at 1 (800) 621-3362 or apply for assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov.

2. Internal Revenue Services (IRS): The IRS provides tax counseling and assistance to businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the covered disaster area.  For more info click here.  The IRS website also includes information and videos on tax help for disaster victims and other disaster tax relief.  To visit their page which they are updating frequently with information, click here.

      • The IRS is extending tax filing deadlines for individuals and businesses affected by Sandy in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Click here for press release.

3. Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA has set up a disaster assistance hotline at 1 (800) 659-2955. The SBA provides low interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes (including nonprofits), up to $2 million. To be eligible for SBA assistance, businesses or nonprofits must have sustained physical or economic damage and be located in a disaster declared county. Renters and homeowners, a group that includes most sole proprietors, can borrow up to $40,000 for repairs and to replace things like appliances, furniture, automobiles, and clothing. People who own homes can apply for as much as $200,000 for repairs to their primary residences.  For application information, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/business-physical-disaster-loans or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Also visit  their website to learn more and apply.

      •  SBA has opened up two Business Recovery Centers in Brooklyn and Long Island to provide one-on-one help in applying for disaster assistance for losses caused by Hurricane Sandy.  The Centers are opening as indicated below, until further notice:

Kings Co. IKEA – Brooklyn 1 Beard Street (Coney Island Room) Brooklyn, NY 11231.       
Opening: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. Hours: Mon – Sun, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Nassau Co. Farmingdale State College SBDC Training Center 2350 Broad Hollow Rd Farmingdale, NY 1735
Opening: Friday, Nov.  9, 2012.  Hours: Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sat and Sun, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. Nassau County has established a storm assistance program for small businesses. Eligible firms may receive up to $99,000 to be used toward recovery efforts through the Nassau IDA’s Local Enterprise Assistance and Development Services Program. The program provides eligible small businesses with help through a sales tax exemption on any furniture, fixtures, equipment and material purchased for repair and reconstruction. For information, contact the Nassau County IDA at (516) 571-1745 or by email at Leads@nassauida.org.

5. Suffolk County is offering recovery assistance through the Department of Labor and Department of Economic Development and Planning. The county is hosting Small Business Assistance Recovery Centers daily at labor department offices at the H. Lee Dennison building in Hauppauge from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and at the Suffolk County Department of Labor in Riverhead from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For information, call (631) 853-6600.

6. The New York City Economic Development Corporation is coordinating resources for businesses that have been affected by the storm, including emergency loans, short-term office space for displaced businesses and other services.  Click here to learn how you can apply.

7. NYC.gov has a page dedicated to Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery Information with an extensive list of assistance available to help business and nonprofits recover from the storm.  Click here to see the list of services/assistance being offered.

      • Emergency low-interest loans of up to $25,000 for businesses that have been interrupted and suffered damage as a result of the storm. Applications are available at any of the City’s NYC Business Solutions Centers, by calling 311 and asking for “NYC Business Emergency Loan,” or by visiting on nyc.gov/contactnycbiz.
      • For businesses facing significant rebuilding costs, the City will provide sales tax exemptions of up to $100,000 on purchases of materials, equipment and related services needed to rebuild. Learn more here: nycedc.com/backtobusiness
      • They have produced in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian which outline all the available NYC assistance for business owners:

Download Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery PDF.
Download Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery PDF (en español).
Download Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery PDF (中文).
Download Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery PDF (ру́сский язы́к).

8. Lawyers Alliance for New York if you are a nonprofit in New York that has questions about assisting relief efforts, emerging legal issues related to the disaster, or victims of Hurricane Sandy, contact Lawyers Alliance for support. Their number is (212) 219-1800.  They have also developed a collection of resources for organizations dealing with the impact of the hurricane and operating a disaster relief program.  The collection of resources are available here.

 9. Pro Bono Partnership is also providing legal advice for non-profits in NYS who have post-sandy related issues.  For assistance you can email them at: information@probonopartner.org or call at 973.240.6955You can read more about their work here.

10. Legal Assistance for Long Island Businesses: The Touro Law Center and Suffolk County Bar Association have created a Hurricane Emergency Assistance and Referral Team to provide referrals, assistance and legal advice for small businesses. For information, call (631) 761-7198 or email tlcheart@tourolaw. The telephone hotline will be answered live Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Voicemail messages can be left anytime. 

11. National Disaster Legal Aid: http://www.disasterlegalaid.org/. This website includes information on disaster-related legal services.

12. Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) is providing assistance for businesses that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy through the creation of special legal clinics, presentations and other events for those in affected areas. NELP has trained over one hundred attorneys in issues relating to FEMA, SBA, insurance, commercial landlord-tenant, contracts and employment, who will offer free counseling for business owners at these events. To learn more about ways that NELP can assist your business with disaster-related issues, contact our intake line at (212) 382-6633 or email us at nelp@nycbar.org.

Transportation (including Gasoline)

1. NYC has launched a new Rockaway Ferry Service

The City, with Seastreak, will provide temporary ferry service between the Rockaways and Manhattan beginning Monday, November 12:

      • Ferries depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive and stop at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan.
      • Free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Midtown
      • Service runs from 5:45AM and depart regularly until 9:20 AM
      • Regular service resume at evening rush hour
      • One-way fares will cost $2.00

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Free Disaster Legal Aid and Mediation Assistance

1. LawHelp.org/NY has disaster relief information and list of free legal aid providers you can find by visiting their **This topic is currently under development**

2. New York State Bar Associationis providing NY residents with free legal assistance for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. To inquire about this service please call their special legal hotline at 1-800-699-5636. You can also visit www.NYSBA.org/Sandy for more info.

3. Legal Services NYC City-Wide Sandy Recovery Hotline is available from 10am-3pm. LSNYC Legal staff can help answer any questions you may have about how the recovery affects your public benefits, foreclosure, employment, housing, how to access assistance, and more. Attorneys are also making visits to disaster areas in NYC, so you can call the hotline for more information on where attorneys will be, or to set up an appointment. The number is (347) 592-2411. Click here to read more about this hotline. This hotline is able to take calls from all non-English speakers!

4. The Legal Aid Society Sandy Relief Hotline provides legal assistance to NYC residents affected by Hurricane Sandy. The number is 1-888-663-6880.  They have also launched the Marshall Greene Mobile Justice Unit which will be traveling to under-served areas throughout greater New York to provide free legal help to Hurricane Sandy victims in addition to its existing work of providing civil, criminal and juvenile legal services.  Stay tuned for more information on specific locations they will be visiting and dates.

5. City Bar Justice Center Free Legal Hotline:  (212) 636-7383. Hours of operation:  Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A Sandy Disaster Relief attorney will be available through this hotline for consultations in English and Spanish, Monday and Wednesday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Language line translation available, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

6. NYLAG’s new Storm Relief Effort will place their staff at disaster relief centers and community-based organizations and hospitals. Their attorneys and volunteers will be onsite to provide legal advice to victims dealing with issues including FEMA claims, housing disputes, consumer matters and emergency public benefits. Those seeking immediate assistance with legal issues can call their new hotline at 212-584-3365 or email at StormHelp@nylag.org. For more info you can also visit: nylag.org/stormhelp.

7. New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) is assisting individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations to equally access housing or shelter.  Call (212) 244-4664 for intake on Mondays and Fridays from 9:30-1:30, and on Wednesdays from 1:30-5:30.  NYLPI does not handle benefits or matters that are not disability-related.  Visit nylpi.org for more information about available services.

8. Make the Road by walking is providing legal assistance for Spanish-speaking and immigrant New Yorkers in NYC. They can help you find and access emergency services and make sure that language access and immigration status do not prevent anyone from getting the shelter, supplies and help they need. Click here for their contact information.

9. The Family Center is providing legal services to families and individuals impacted by Hurricane Sandy. These services include legal counseling and representation for hurricane-affected New Yorkers who are experiencing difficulty with housing or public benefits, such as social security or food stamps. For a full list of the legal issues they can help you with, click here. Please contact The Family Center at (212) 766-4522 ext. 150 to receive this critical legal support.

10. New York County Lawyers’ Association’s Legal Counseling Project is can help you deal with legal issues that arise while dealing with insurance claims and coverage issues. Contact their offices at 212-267-6646 for more info.

11. Legal Assistance for Long Island residents: Touro Law Center – Hurricane Emergency Assistance and Referral Team (TLC HEART) will open next week to provide referrals, assistance and legal advice for local residents and small businesses affected by the storm. The Center will provide help in assessing eligibility and completing application forms for the wide range of emergency assistance available to storm victims, both individuals and small businesses (e.g., food stamps, government loans and grants); free legal consultation and advice on storm-related legal issues (e.g., insurance, landlord-tenant, consumer complaints, unemployment); assistance to members of the Touro Law community who are in need. Beginning next week, residents will be able to call the center at (631) 761-7198 and email tlcheart@tourolaw.edu. For more information click here.

12. Disaster Legal Services Program – NY Hurricane Sandy hotline number: 1-800-699-5636. Through the Disaster Legal Services Program, the ABA YLD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide immediate temporary legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge. Click here for more info.

13. Lawyers Alliance for New York if you are a nonprofit in New York that has questions about assisting relief efforts, emerging legal issues related to the disaster, or victims of Hurricane Sandy, contact Lawyers Alliance for support. Their number is (212) 219-1800. They have also developed a collection of resources for organizations dealing with the impact of the hurricane and operating a disaster relief program. The collection of resources are available here.

14. Pro Bono Partnership is also providing legal advice for non-profits in NYS who have post-sandy related issues. For assistance you can email them at: information@probonopartner.org or call at 973.240.6955. You can read more about their work here.

15. National Disaster Legal Aid: http://www.disasterlegalaid.org/. This website includes information on disaster-related legal services.

16. Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project (NELP) is providing assistance for businesses that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy through the creation of special legal clinics, presentations and other events for those in affected areas. NELP has trained over one hundred attorneys in issues relating to FEMA, SBA, insurance, commercial landlord-tenant, contracts and employment, who will offer free counseling for business owners at these events. To learn more about ways that NELP can assist your business with disaster-related issues, contact our intake line at (212) 382-6633 or email us at nelp@nycbar.org.

17. Queens Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc., Queens County Bar Association is located at: 90-35 148th Street, Jamaica, N.Y.  11435.  They have been providing a significant amount of assistance to residents of Queens dealing with the aftermath of Sandy.  Applicants seeking pro bono help should call on Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 AM & 4:00 PM: (718) 739-4100Click here for more info.

17. NYPeace.org – Are you in conflict with a landlord, insurance adjuster, family member, or neighbor over Sandy related issues?  Mediation is a free, safe, and private way to resolve Sandy-related conflicts.  To learn more about free mediation services, you can contact Alan Gross, Ph.D
Special Projects Coordinator at agross@nypeace.org or 917-359-044.  Click here to read their flyer.

Free Legal Clinics

If you have any questions related to FEMA, food stamps, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, small business issues, and landlord-tenant matters as a result of Superstorm Sandy, check out this calendar to learn about daily legal clinics that may be going on in your area. 

 

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Home Forums Hurricane Sandy Recovery: Resources and Information for New Yorkers (We’ll be updating this list regularly, so check back often!)

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