PASADENA, Calif. -- Californians who receive Social Security benefits and other benefits should not be concerned that applying for, or receiving, federal or state disaster-related financial assistance for the wildfires would reduce their monthly benefit.
"A federal or state disaster-assistance grant is not taxable income," said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Neveau. "This means that receiving disaster aid will not affect Social Security benefits."
Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state of California may include temporary housing, rental assistance, and home repairs to bring the dwelling to safe, sanitary and functional condition.
"Disaster grants will not reduce eligibility for Medi-Cal, welfare assistance, or food stamps," said Deputy State Coordinating Officer Tom Maruyama.
Those who suffered wildfire damages and losses should register with FEMA by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or go online at www.fema.gov.
After applying with FEMA, disaster victims may be mailed a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Application. To be considered for some other forms of disaster assistance grants, it is necessary to complete and submit the SBA application.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.