HOUSTON – The American Red Cross has released a statement as it relaunches its financial assistance program in Texas this week as a way to provide help to the households most severely affected by Hurricane Harvey in 39 counties.
Officials said the Red Cross has processed and informed tens of thousands of applicants of their status as of Friday evening.
Why many Harvey victims have been denied?
Some applicants have been denied based on a number of variables, officials with the Red Cross said.
The focus of the Hurricane Harvey assistance program is to deliver funds to those most severely affected. Officials said this includes households that were in those areas most severely impacted by the storm, who were displaced by the storm for several days and who have expressed an immediate need for financial assistance to cover life sustaining items like food and clothing.
"If you were denied and you feel there has been a mistake, there may be an option for you to appeal -- just follow the directions in the message you received," the Red Cross said in a statement. "If there is no appeal option, you are probably not qualified for this program, though you may qualify for other forms of Red Cross support, including sheltering, cleaning supplies, food, health and mental health support and spiritual care."
The Red Cross said it is currently administering tens of thousands of applications and doing so as quickly as possible, as this is a multistep process. If applicants have not heard from the Red Cross, there is no need to reapply.
The Red Cross will be working alongside community partners to create new programs that address unmet needs, including those long-term recovery needs that were not intended to be satisfied with the Hurricane Harvey assistance program, officials said. Qualifying for the assistance program will not be a precondition for applying for and/or qualifying for these programs.
What's next for denied applicants?
Officials said for those whose needs may not have been met through the assistance program, but still require immediate assistance, the Red Cross strongly encourages you to apply for federal assistance by registering online here.
"We understand this is frustrating for some, and we apologize," the Red Cross said. "We appreciate that this aid is needed, and we are committed to deliver it to those most severely affected by Hurricane Harvey as soon as possible."