Status of Hurricane Harvey Immediate Assistance Program


As we continue to provide food, shelter and comfort for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, the American Red Cross is delivering financial assistance into the hands of people who need it most. On the first day of this effort on September 11, we provided $45 million in financial assistance to more than 100,000 qualified households who needed immediate help.

However, this unprecedented demand challenged our IT infrastructure and caused us to temporarily suspend service. We understand this has been frustrating for the many families still in need of assistance and we are working around the clock to implement reliable solutions to accommodate demand.

Despite this setback, the Red Cross is fully committed to providing financial support to help meet the needs of those most impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to Red Cross financial assistance:

Q: When will the Red Cross assistance website be available again?

A: On Thursday, September 21, the Red Cross plans to launch a single website where qualified households severely impacted by Harvey may apply for assistance. Registration will remain open until October 10.

Q: I have already registered but haven’t received a reference code/was unable to select a payment method.

A: The Red Cross is processing registrations for pending applicants whose registrations were not completed when the system became overloaded. For example, because of the system overload, some applicants did not receive reference codes or were unable to select payment methods. We are working to resolve those registrations within the next few days. Qualified applicants will receive a text or email with instructions for completing the process.

Q: I chose the PayPal or Zelle option and still haven’t seen a deposit come through.

A: We have a number of PayPal and Zelle applications that are in process. You do not need to reapply.

Q: Who may register for financial assistance?

A: Red Cross financial assistance of $400 will be available to qualifying households that were severely impacted by Harvey within these 39 Texas counties: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton.

Q: Do I need to be an American citizen to receive financial assistance from the Red Cross?

A: The Red Cross is a charity, not a government agency, and people do not need to be American citizens to receive our assistance.

Q: I have seen answers to the qualification questions posted online. Isn’t that fraud?

A: The Red Cross has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to fraud and aggressively pursues fraudulent activities. If you are aware of fraud, please contact your local law enforcement or the Red Cross at, or the Red Cross Concern Connection Line toll free, at 1-888-309-9679.

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  1. I applied yesterday. haven’t received a reference. number yet but others did there the same time I did mines and got their number

  2. I too applied on Thursday Sept 21st at 8am. Other relatives and co workers that applied after me have already recieved thier numbers and have pick up thier cards.

    1. Marvin, we are sorry about the delay. With so many applications in the system it is taking some time to get all the backlog cleared. We thank you for your patience.

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