SOMERSET, N.J. -- Kind-hearted New Jerseyans affected by the severe storms and flooding mid-March should not forego registering for disaster assistance just because they think it will keep that aid from reaching their less-fortunate neighbors.
Federal and state officials assured New Jerseyans there is enough disaster assistance available for all who qualify.
"Many times in a disaster, some people feel others have suffered more than they have, and they don't want to take money from those they think may have a greater need, especially families," said the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Federal Coordinating Officer William F. Vogel.
Aid recipients have also expressed concern that their disaster assistance grants might cause them to lose Social Security benefits, pay additional taxes, or give up income-based benefits programs.
"Federal and state disaster grants will not affect Social Security benefits and they are not taxable," said Vogel.
The deadline to apply for federal disaster assistance is July 1, 2010.
Flood survivors can register for aid or follow up on their applications by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have speech disabilities (for relay service, call 711 or 1-800-852-7897) between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., seven days a week. Multi-lingual operators are available. Flood survivors may also register online anytime at www.disasterassistance.gov.
They may also visit the Disaster Recovery Centers in Burlington, Cumberland, Ocean and Somerset counties that will remain open until close of business Friday, June 11. Their locations are available through the helpline, or at asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/drcLocator.jsp.
For more information, or to find copies of Social Security publications, visit the agency's website at www.socialsecurity.gov/about.htm.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.