NY, NJ lawmakers encourage people to apply for FEMA aid

"Take pictures of any damaged belongings, and keep all of your receipts. Although documenting your losses does not guarantee your eligibility for disaster relief, the documentation may be required by FEMA or your homeowner's insurance company."

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So far, eight New Jersey counties have been designated as disaster areas, which makes people eligible for FEMA aid, and Holt said he has asked FEMA to add other counties.

In neighboring New York, Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) similarly encouraged people to apply for FEMA aid.

"This unbelievable disaster has left many people in my district and throughout New York in desperate need of help," he said. "It is important that those who need assistance know where and how to apply for aid."

He and several other members from New York and New Jersey provided FEMA's phone number on their websites, as well as basic information people and companies will need to register with FEMA and ultimately apply for aid. Several members also said they would help constituents with the application process at FEMA.

"I remain committed to helping residents recover from the storm damage and my staff is fully available to assist with any questions or problems that may arise throughout the application process," Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) said.

In both states, FEMA aid can include grants to help people make rental payments for housing, including both tenants and landlords. Grants can also be made for housing and home repairs, and to cover uninsured property and medical help.

FEMA aid can also include unemployment payments for up to 26 weeks for those who temporarily lose their jobs because of the hurricane and cannot get state benefits. In addition, aid can be in the form of loans of up to $2 million for small businesses with disaster-related cash flow problems, while farmers and ranchers can get loans of up to $500,000.

Other costs that FEMA can cover include crisis counseling and tax or legal assistance.