WASHINGTON -

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a plan to boost aid to New Jersey towns hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

FEMA will reimburse communities at a rate of 90 percent for certain expenses related to the October storm, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, who represents Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Smith met with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate earlier this month to ask for an increase and talk about recovery efforts.

He said the move for the federal government to pay 90 percent of certain recovery costs, up from 75 percent, will make the path forward a little easier and help with municipal budget planning.

"This is great news for New Jersey and something we’ve been aggressively working to achieve over the last eight months," said Gov. Chris Christie. "This increased funding from the federal government will go a long way as our residents and communities continue rebuilding from Sandy."

The plan will provide an immediate and additional $262 million for already obligated funding and will cover all additional local government approved funding, Smith said.

To date, FEMA has approved more than $550 million in public assistance grants to help New Jersey communities recover and rebuild, Christie said.