ALBANY, N.Y. -- Renters, homeowners, business owners or other people who were impacted by Tropical Storm Floyd in Orange, Putnam, Westchester and Rockland counties may be eligible for assistance from a variety of state, federal and voluntary agencies.
Marianne C. Jackson of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Edward F. Jacoby, Jr. of the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) said those affected by the storm may apply for assistance immediately by calling , toll-free, 1-800-462-9029. People who are hearing- or speech-impaired may call TDD 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are in operation from 7 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.
The types of assistance that may be available include:
Voluntary Agency Programs
- Emergency Assistance: Emergency food, clothing, shelter and medical assistance to individuals and families; and referrals to church groups and other voluntary agencies assisting in disasters.
- FEMA-Funded Programs
- Disaster Housing Assistance: Housing assistance to individuals and families whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by the disaster. Types of aid include grants for: (1) alternate rental housing; (2) emergency repairs needed to make a residence habitable; and (3) mortgage or rental assistance in cases where the disaster has caused extreme economic hardship.
- Individual and Family Grant Program: Provides grants to individuals and families to meet serious disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance or other federal, state or voluntary agency disaster assistance programs. This program is administered by the state.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Weekly benefits are available to individuals out of work because of the disaster, including self-employed persons, farm owners and others not covered under regular unemployment insurance.
Other Federal and State Assistance Programs
- Federal Tax Assistance: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows underinsured or uninsured casualty losses that were sustained on home, personal property and household goods to be deducted on income tax returns. Amended returns may be filed for a previous year's filing so disaster victims can receive a tax refund.
- State Tax Assistance: Assistance and information on casualty loss deductions on state income tax returns may also be obtained.
- Local Tax Assistance: Local tax assessors may provide information and assistance on possible property tax relief.
- Farm Assistance: Emergency loans to farmers who were operating and managing a farm at the time of the disaster. Loans are limited to the amount necessary to compensate for actual losses to essential property and/or production capacity.
- Insurance Information: Assistance and/or counseling regarding ways to obtain copies of lost policies, file claims, expedite settlements, etc.
- Legal Assistance: Free legal services for low-income disaster victims on such matters as replacing legal documents, transferring titles, contracting problems, will probates, insurance problems and certain landlord-related problems.
- Social Security Benefits: Assistance in expediting delivery of checks delayed by the disaster, and assistance in applying for Social Security disability and survivor benefits.
- Veterans' Benefits: Assistance in expediting delivery of information about benefits, pensions, insurance set...