News from Representative Rouzer



Our office is here to help assist recovery and rebuilding efforts in any way possible.  At of the time of this newsletter, the following counties in the 7th District are eligible for both individual and public disaster assistance -- Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Wayne counties.  Below you will find a summary of disaster assistance programs available to individuals and businesses.  If you need assistance navigating these resources, please do not hesitate to call one of our offices.

Individual Disaster Assistance

There are several ways to see if you qualify for financial assistance:

  • Use the address lookup on to find out if you qualify for aid.
  • Fill out the questionnaire and online aid application.
  • Call 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

Unemployment Disaster Assistance

The Division of Employment Security (DES) announced that the following counties in the 7th District have been approved for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) due to the effects of Hurricane Florence: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Wayne.  Individuals from these counties who are affected by the disaster, and are unable to continue working, must file an application for benefits by October 18, 2018.  Additional counties may be added at a later date.  If your county has not been approved for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, please continue to monitor our website as we will post updates as we receive them.  

 Workers or business owners meeting the following criteria may be eligible for benefits:

  • Individuals who are unemployed due to the disaster, and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Self-employed individuals and small business owners who lost income due to the disaster.
  • Individuals who were prevented from working due to an injury caused by the disaster.
  • Individuals who have become the major supplier of household income due to the disaster-related death of the previous major supplier of household income.
  • Individuals who are unable to reach their jobs or self-employment locations, because they must travel through the affected area and are prevented from doing so by the disaster.
  • Individuals who were to commence employment or self-employment, but were prevented from doing so by the disaster.

Individuals need to file first for regular unemployment insurance.  If an individual is determined ineligible for regular unemployment insurance, or has exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits, a DUA claim can then be filed. Individuals will need their Social Security number, copies of their most recent federal income tax forms or check stubs, or documentation to support they were working or self-employed when the disaster occurred. To receive DUA benefits, all required documentation must be submitted within 21 days from the day the DUA application is filed.

To file an unemployment insurance claim, please click here or call 1-866-795-8877.   

Business Assistance

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest loans for business damages.  Learn more about the business loan application process here.

The following counties in the 7th District are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Wayne counties.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA's secure website at  Additional details on the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to

Other Federal Resources

How the IRS Can help with tax assistance:

  • IRS has a special toll-free number (866-562-5227) for taxpayers with questions in federally-declared disaster areas.
  • IRS can assist with reconstructing records. Use Get Transcript tool, Form 4506-T and Form 4506

How the VA can help with assistance: If you need assistance seeking medication or care from the VA in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, please call the Veterans Disaster Response Line at 1-800-507-4571.

I Applied for Assistance, What's Next?

Small Business Administration Application: Some applications for disaster assistance require you to also submit an SBA application before we can determine your eligibility for assistance.  Learn more about the home and property disaster loan application.

Home Inspection: You will receive a call from FEMA within 10 days of submitting your application to schedule an appointment for a home inspector to visit you. In the event of a catastrophic disaster an inspector may take longer to visit you.

After the Inspection

If you qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide you:

  • A check by mail or a direct deposit into your checking or savings account,
  • A letter describing how you are to use the money.

If you do not qualify for a grant, FEMA will provide you:

  • A letter explaining why you did not qualify, and
  • An opportunity to appeal the decision.

Our four offices in Bolivia, Wilmington, Smithfield and Washington, D.C. stand ready to assist you.  Please call us if you have any questions or concerns.  You can reach our Bolivia office by calling (910) 253-6111; our Wilmington office at (910) 395-0202; our Smithfield office at (919) 938-3040 and Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2731.


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