All Who Need Help Should Seek Help Regardless of Immigration Status

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Release date: 
October 13, 2001
Release Number: 
1391-27

New York, NY -- Everyone who was directly affected by the WTC attack is encouraged to seek disaster assistance regardless of their citizenship, recovery officials said.

"We want people to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for help even if they think they may not be qualified for assistance," said Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., state coordinating officer. "Just because someone isn't eligible for all state and federal programs doesn't mean there isn't help available. If we can't help someone, we will make every effort to find an agency that can."

Many voluntary agencies, including the American Red Cross, and the New York State Crime Victims Board do not have a citizenship requirement for individuals seeking disaster assistance. To contact the New York State Crime Victims Board, call 1-800-247-8035. Speech- or hearing-impaired persons should call TTY, 1-888-289-9747. To contact the American Red Cross, call 1-212-219-6200 (in Manhattan) and 1-877-746-4987 (outside of Manhattan.)

People directly affected by the Sept. 11 attack should call to register for federal and state assistance regardless of their immigration status. Disaster-recovery experts will determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis. The FEMA toll-free registration line is 1-800-462-9029. People who are hearing- and speech-impaired should call TTY, 1-800-462-7585. Lines are open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

"The State of New York and FEMA are not going to share information on people's legal status with other agencies," said Ted Monette, federal coordinating officer. "We want everyone who was affected by the Sept. 11 attack to feel comfortable asking for help."

To receive certain kinds of federal and state disaster assistance, applicants must be citizens or qualified aliens. A person who is not a qualified alien, but whose child is a citizen (for example, your child was born in the United States), a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien, may apply for assistance on behalf of the child. All applicants, including qualified aliens, who apply for state and federal assistance must sign declarations of their immigration status.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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