KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday that the deadline for Kentuckians impacted by the December 10th tornado to apply for FEMA assistance has been extended to March 13.

FEMA officials say disaster assistance is not a substitute for insurance and cannot compensate for all losses caused by the tornadoes. The assistance is intended to meet basic needs and supplement disaster recovery efforts.

To apply for assistance, you will need a general list of damages, banking information and insurance policy information. Homeowners are encouraged to apply for relief through their insurance provider before applying for FEMA assistance.

Kentuckians will need to apply for FEMA aid to become eligible for the state’s tornado relief fund.

That February 11th deadline was moved after the state asked for the extension to ensure all survivors can apply. Governor Beshear says the state adds 20% on top of what survivors get from FEMA, which is from the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.

“We sent 20% on top of FEMA awards to uninsured home owners. That amount is $1.2 million dollars, and then the same to uninsured renters, that’s about $559,000,” he explained.

But if survivors don’t get FEMA funds, they also don’t get the state add-on. La-Tanga Hopes of FEMA says more than $12 million has gone to help tornado survivors, with nearly $9 million of that for household help. She says FEMA’s mainly helping uninsured or underinsured home owners.”FEMA wants to make sure your home is sanitizied, and make sure that is functional. That would cover recovery. If you want to be fully restored, you should have insurance, or talk to someone at SBA,” she said.

But Jesse Young, who lost his insured home in the tornado, says more could be done to help insured home owners. He says he turned down an SBA offer to help rebuild because it wouldn’t cover enough costs.

“SBA had offered $75,000 to rebuild a new home. Home building is around $150 a square foot. $150 a square foot, $75,000 ain’t going to build you nothing but a dog house,” he said.

FEMA rules prohibit the agency from duplicating insurance payments for fully insured homes owners, but does refer some to the SBA.

Hopes also says people are still able to appeal any rejection of an application after the deadline passes.

To apply, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app or call the FEMA Helplineat 800-621-3362.

(This story was originally published on February 10, 2022)