The federal government has extended disaster assistance to all 21 of New Jersey's counties, Gov. Chris Christie announced today.

This means residents and businesses all over New Jersey are eligible for federal disaster relief through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Small Business Administration.

Eligibility allows them to apply for different types of assistance, including temporary housing, repair, replacement or other needs such as Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

All 21 of the counties have already been approved by the federal government as eligible for Public Assistance, which is an additional form of federal disaster relief. Public Assistance Program funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Residents of the counties that had yet to been declared eligible for individual assistance by the federal government are now being encouraged to begin the process of registering with FEMA for relief.

Survivors of Hurricane Sandy who suffered damage should apply for disaster assistance with FEMA - even if they have insurance or aren't sure if they are eligible.

Register by phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments. Specialists are standing by at the toll-free numbers seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, until further notice. Help in languages other than English is available. Or you can register online at

You can also apply through a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone by visiting and following the link to "apply online for federal assistance."