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Federal disaster aid assistance available for New Mexico residents impacted by fires

RUIDOSO, NM (KVIA) -- As residents of Ruidoso begin returning to their homes today, New Mexico officials have announced that Federal Aid Disaster aid is now available to those impacted by the wildfires. 

Applications for FEMA can be completed online at or by calling the FEMA application helpline at 800-621-3362. A FEMA spokesperson says this will help with immediate costs, “We have things like displacement assistance, of course, that would occur if you were evacuated and then you had to pay for some place to stay or if you go back and your home has had some damage that you lost, all your food and so forth.”

FEMA encourages residents to apply online, as this is the fastest way. FEMA teams will also be available in person at the Roswell Convention Center, that’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m

Various state agencies will also be at the center to assist with applications for SNAP benefits, unemployment, WIC, insurance claims, Medicaid, and peer support. 

FEMA says they are also working with state and county officials to reimburse long-term recovery costs such as debris removal and damage to drinking water systems.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham highlighted the community's efforts to continue supporting those in need with donations, "All nonprofits and certainly the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico has led for the rest of the state getting donations. There's a ton of benefits that we need in the hands of individuals. They couldn't go to work. They have to pay their bills. Know they don't have groceries, they don't have any other supplies. We want that to be cared for as many people as quickly as we can," she said.

Mayor Lynn Crawford says that temporary housing will be available for residents returning home today, "They will have nowhere else to go. They're out of money. Their emotions are shot. So we need to be there to support them. And we're going to have the housing hopefully have money to see this next week. And then we're working on longer-term solutions and we'll be looking around other parts of the community, the village, homes, properties several times,” said Mayor Crawford.

As part of the Federal disaster aid, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is now available for individuals in Lincoln County and the Mescalero Apache Tribe who lost their jobs due to the fires. 

To apply, individuals must first file for Standard Unemployment Insurance online at, by calling 1-877-664-6984, or at a Workforce Connection Center. After an individual receives notice that they are ineligible for standard benefits, they can then apply for DUA by phone or in person. 

Applications must be submitted by August 19, 2024, with proof of employment required within 21 days of filing a claim.

DUA benefits will cover unemployment from June 23, 2024, to December 21, 2024, as long as it remains a direct result of the disaster.

Article Topic Follows: Ruidoso Wildfires

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Isabella Martinez


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