LEBANON, Va. -- Federal and state disaster grants do not impact other types of assistance, such as Social Security payments or Aid to Families with Dependent Children, federal and state recovery officials said today.
“Grants are tax-free and do not need to be reported as income,” said Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Residents and businesses affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in Lee, Russell and Tazewell counties should register for federal and state aid without fear of losing other benefits,” said Michael Cline, Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s state coordinating officer.
To register, call toll free 1-800-621- 3362 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Optimum times to call are early morning or later in the day.
Once registered, a visit to the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), located in the Richfields Police Department Building (the old armory), 1851 Cranwell Drive, Richfields, may be beneficial.
Specialists on insurance, FEMA/State aid programs, methods on reducing damages from future events, voluntary agencies dealing with long term unmet needs are available. DRC hours are: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.