United States Coast Guard - Coast Guard Mutual Assistance: Disaster Response
United States Coast Guard
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Data Provided By
United Way of Lancaster County
Description of Service
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) provides essential financial aid to the entire Coast Guard family, chiefly through financial counseling, short-term interest-free loans, financial grants, referrals, and other related means.
In the time of a major disaster, such as a hurricane, CGMA’s initial objective is to rapidly provide emergency assistance for evacuation and cash needed to meet basic living expenses such as food, shelter, clothing, etc.
In these instances, CGMA uses appropriate modified procedures to provide rapid emergency assistance, including reducing normal paperwork and approval procedures to a minimum.
It is CGMA’s policy during these extraordinary times to meet the client’s immediate financial needs with an interest-free loan and then at a later date, when more specific data and information are available, determine whether the financial assistance should be a grant, loan or a combination of grant and loan.
Loan Repayment: In these situations, the start of any interest-free loan repayment is deferred until some point in the future. This provides time for the situation to stabilize and for reimbursement entitlements to be determined, allowing CGMA to objectively assess an individual’s true out-of-pocket losses and financial needs.
Converting a Loan into a Grant:
While CGMA would like to see those affected made whole, even agencies of the federal government and major charities do not have sufficient funds to cover every individual’s actual losses. CGMA’s disaster assistance priority for losses and expenses not reimbursed by other sources is:
Priority 1 - Emergency disaster assistance for basic living expenses to prevent privation (lack of food, shelter or clothing) and temporary home repairs to prevent further damage.
Priority 2 - Basic household setup/re-establishment, personal property items and other emergency needs.
Disaster assistance will be provided in the order of priority indicated, subject to the availability of funds and financial need. CGMA does not provide assistance for major structural loss. It must be recognized that CGMA is not in a position to cover losses due to lack of adequate insurance coverage, the failure of an insurance company to settle claims, or to bridge the gap between pre-disaster property values and insurance recoupment.
NOTE: Assistance will normally be limited to $3,000 per client/family. Where a need exists for greater amounts, approval must come from CGMA-HQ.
Call or contact your local Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Representative
An application for assistance must be completed for each request for assistance. The CGMA Application for Assistance (CGMA Form 5) has been established as the primary document to request assistance from CGMA. This form will be used to request most types of assistance, except as noted below.
In addition to the application form, in most cases a CGMA Budget Form must also be completed. Additional supporting documentation will normally be required when applying for assistance. Applicants are encouraged to review "Applying for Assistance" for additional information.
To insure uniformity of treatment and fairness to all clients, certain limitations have been established where assistance is not normally permitted.
CGMA funds will not normally be provided for long-term, continuing or frequent use of assistance for Unauthorized Items listed at website.
With only a few exceptions, almost everyone associated with the U.S. Coast Guard is eligible to request assistance from Coast Guard Mutual Assistance on behalf of themselves or their immediate family members.Eligibility under special circumstances may apply in certain situations. Additional eligibility limitations and guidelines specific to each type of assistance may also apply. Eligibility to receive assistance for themselves or on behalf of their immediate family members is generally extended to, U.S. Coast Guard: