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Low Turnout at FEMA Center Prompts Explanation about Qualification

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WESLACO - A low turnout at FEMA centers is prompting an explanation about who can qualify for assistance.

FEMA offers assistance with federal tax dollars; that money is for U.S. citizens and those with permission to be in the country.

The need in the Rio Grande Valley is so high after June's floods the federal government allocated nearly 14 million to help the region.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to FEMA public information officer Alberto Pillot.

"For it to be declared a declaration there had to have been a lot of damage, and there is. But, nobody is going. We only get 30 to 50 people daily," says Pillot.

This will help homeowners, renters, and small businesses who experienced damage to their properties.

A month later, FEMA has only received about 3,000 applications.

Pillot says they help citizens and non-citizens who have permission to be in the country to live or work.

Additionally, he says they can also help mixed status families.

"If you don't have any proper documentation, if you have family members within your family that have a social security, you can apply for assistance based on that family member," says Pillot.

The information they collect is not shared with other federal agencies.

FEMA asks the public to take their home insurance, flood insurance, and provide an address of damaged property, contact information and bank information when you file an application.

For more information watch the video above.

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