If you had losses because of Hurricane Sandy you are encouraged to register for disaster assistance. You may be eligible for grants or assistance programs from federal, state, local or voluntary agencies. The deadline for registration is May 1, 2013.
Here are several facts you should know:
FACT: A FEMA grant does not affect Social Security benefits or any government benefit, including Medicare, Medicaid or food stamps.
FACT: Disaster assistance has no bearing on decisions about a senior’s need for nursing home care. FEMA and its state and local partners work to keep survivors in their own homes.
FACT: Specially trained FEMA staff and volunteers are available to help anyone who has a disability or needs assistance. You will not have to fill out a form. The telephone specialist will input your information for you when you call 800-621-FEMA or TTY 800-462-7585.
FACT: At Disaster Recovery Center sites, assisted technology has been provided for survivors who may need help accessing materials. Some examples are lighted magnifying glasses, and amplified listening devices and phones.
FACT: Upon request an on-site American Sign Language interpreter can be provided or an interpreter through Video Remote Interpretation (VRI). Video Relay Service is provided for people who are deaf who want to register for disaster assistance. If a person has a speech disability or hearing loss and uses TTY, they should call 1-800-462-7585.
FACT: You can check the status of your application online or speak to a disaster representative in person at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). To locate a Disaster Recovery Center visit fema.gov/drclocator.
FACT: If English is not your first language, FEMA telephone specialists can speak to you in almost any language. You will be able to choose from more than 250 languages available.
FACT: While you do not have to be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or a qualified alien to get crisis counseling, disaster legal services, voluntary agency assistance or possible short-term non-cash emergency assistance, you must satisfy one of these conditions to qualify for a grant from FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.
FACT: If you are not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or a qualified alien, you still can apply for assistance on behalf of your minor child if he or she is a citizen, has a Social Security number and was living with you at the time of the disaster.
FACT: Registering with FEMA is a simple process. There is no paperwork involved. Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. By phone or 711/VRS, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585.
FACT: Depending on the information you provide, FEMA may ask you to fill out an application for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan. You may be considered for other grant programs if the SBA application shows you cannot repay a loan. That’s why it is so important to fill out and return the SBA application.
FACT: FEMA funding may be available to survivors who had disaster losses. Even if you have flood insurance you should register. FEMA may be able to help with losses your insurance does not cover.
FACT: Income is not a consideration when you apply for FEMA assistance.
FACT: Even if you received disaster assistance in the past, following Hurricane Irene, for example, you may be eligible for assistance if you suffered changes from Hurricane Sandy.