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What does it take to qualify for Red Cross financial assistance after a disaster?

12News asked what it takes to meet the criteria for 'major damage' or 'destroyed' in a home.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Hundreds of people spent Wednesday and Thursday in line outside of Faith United Methodist Church in Fannett, hoping to qualify for Red Cross financial assistance as Southeast Texas works to push forward in Imelda recovery efforts. 

Some waited for an hour in the hot sun. 12News asked, how bad the damage has to be to qualify for Red Cross financial aid.

The Red Cross explained that its disaster assistance teams go door-to-door to look at damaged homes.

The information they collect goes into a database, and Red Cross case workers make an assessment based on that number.

12News asked Ekland Durousseau, Regional Communications Manager for the Red Cross, what the criteria is to receive the financial assistance. 

"Well it all kind of depends," Durousseau said. "So we have many, many resources that we can provide to those who have been affected, not just financial assistance. We can connect you if you having housing needs. If you have furniture needs, any kind of needs that you have we can connect you with our community partners."

The Red Cross told 12News they follow guidelines set by FEMA to make the determination. 

12News reached out to FEMA for answers about what criteria homes must meet to get financial assistance from the Red Cross. 

FEMA sent this response, in part, to 12News:

"In Conventionally Built Homes, major damage is considered a water line above 18 inches in an essential living space, a water line above the electrical outlets, or a waterline on the first floor of a residence when basement is completely full. Destroyed would be considered a complete failure of two or more major structural components (e.g., collapse of basement walls, foundation, walls, or roof).

For Manufactured Homes, major damage is when water has come into contact with the floor system, or the residence has been displaced from the foundation, block or piers and other structural components have been damaged. Destroyed would be considered total loss of the residence."

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If the water reached 18 inches inside your house, you qualify for major damage. You have to meet a high threshold for the home to be considered 'destroyed.'

Again, that factors into the amount of financial assistance available from the Red Cross. 

If you plan to visit a Red Cross recovery center, you'll need a valid photo ID and proof of address.