Peters and Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Create One Deadline to Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance Programs for Individuals

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation to create one application deadline for two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programs that individuals use for federal disaster assistance. FEMA’s Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and Individuals and Household Program (IHP) currently have different deadlines, which can cause confusion for disaster survivors who may have trouble tracking when they need to apply for each program. The senators’ bipartsian legislation would ensure these programs have the same deadline to reduce the burden on people who need them to rebuild their lives after disasters.

“By aligning deadlines for disaster survivors to apply for federal assistance, this bipartisan bill will limit confusion in the application process and ensure that people know exactly when they need to submit their applications to access these critical resources to help rebuild their lives,” said Senator Peters.

“Unnecessarily complicated bureaucracy often stands in the way of the government helping its citizens. I am proud to join Chairman Peters in introducing this bipartisan legislation to simplify federal relief for disaster survivors,” said Senator Rubio.

The bipartisan Disaster Assistance Deadlines Alignment Act would help reduce confusion for disaster survivors by requiring at least 60 days for survivors to submit applications for both the DUA and IHP programs. Currently, the DUA deadline is 30 days and the IHP deadline is 60 days after a federal disaster declaration.

Below are statements in support of the senators’ bipartisan legislation:

“When disasters strike, county officials and emergency responders play a critical role in the immediate response and longer-term efforts to help our communities and residents recover,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Once federal assistance becomes available, residents often must complete complex, arduous applications with inconsistent deadlines during the most stressful times of their lives. The bipartisan Disaster Assistance Deadlines Alignment Act would align deadlines between FEMA’s Disaster Unemployment Assistance and the Individuals and Households Program, two financial lifelines for our residents. We thank Senators Peters and Rubio for introducing this legislation and urge its passage.”

“SBP is proud to support efforts that streamline the disaster recovery process and allow more survivors to access the assistance they need,” said SBP Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Reese May. “Aligning the application timelines for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program and Disaster Unemployment Assistance prevents further confusion among applicants and eases access to disaster assistance for survivors.”

“We know that navigating the impacts of disasters can present an enormous burden to families. By streamlining deadlines for disaster unemployment with other FEMA programs, it can limit the complexity for those impacted,” said Team Rubicon Chief Programs Officer David Burke. “Team Rubicon supports the Disaster Assistance Deadlines Alignment Act of 2023 as one small step to help disaster survivors.”