LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas residents have over 5 million reasons to be grateful for FEMA assistance after the March 31 tornadoes.

The agency said Thursday that over $5.3 million had been approved for residents of Cross, Pulaski and Lonoke counties in disaster response aid. FEMA has registered more than 7,000 applications for assistance in the state since the March tornadoes.

Officials remind that the agency must determine ownership and occupancy of a primary residence before determining aid. FEMA said more document types are being accepted to prove eligibility.

Acceptable documents are:

  • Deed or title
  • Home purchase contract
  • Mortgage documentation
  • Homeowners insurance documentation
  • Last will and testament (and death certificate) naming applicant heir to the property
  • Property tax receipt (or tax bill certificate)
  • Manufactured home certificate of title
  • Receipts for major repairs or maintenance may be acceptable if no other documentation exists.
  • Letter prepared after the disaster from a mobile home park owner or manager or public official that meet FEMA requirements.

Applicants will receive a letter after applying for aid explaining their status, the agency said, including the amount being paid for each need or reasons an applicant has been found ineligible. If a letter states the applicant is ineligible or that no decision has been made, the agency asks the applicant to read the entire letter to find out what is needed to continue processing the application.

Reasons for a no decision response can include missing paperwork or a missed home inspection appointment.

Applicants can appeal aid denials in writing. The letter must include the name, address and phone number of the person appealing.