DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- The deadline to apply for federal disaster assistance for damages resulting from the severe storms and flooding July 19-Aug. 7 is now only four weeks away—Nov. 17.
Here are important points to remember:
- Disaster assistance is available to renters as well as homeowners.
- Assistance is not limited to people living in large cities—all residents of the seven counties designated for individual assistance who suffered storm damage between July 19 and Aug. 7 may be eligible for help.
- People must apply to FEMA to receive federal disaster assistance, even if they reported storm damage to local or county officials immediately after the storm.
- FEMA can help persons with limited English proficiency apply for assistance through its multilingual operators at 1 800-621-FEMA (3362).
- Furnaces in homes affected by the flooding should be checked for proper operation before the onset of cold weather; federal assistance for cleaning and testing of flood-damaged furnaces in the disaster-declared counties may be available.
- FEMA assistance grants are not taxable as income.
- FEMA grants do not affect Social Security benefits or eligibility for welfare programs such as food stamps.
- FEMA may be able to reimburse people for some disaster-related expenses, such as uninsured medical or dental losses, but receipts are necessary to document those expenses.
- While FEMA assistance is meant to get people back on their feet after a disaster, U.S. Small Business Administration disaster recovery loans may be available to fund extensive repairs needed to return a home to its original condition before the disaster and pay for proven methods of hazard mitigation to reduce future storm or flood damage.
- The deadline to apply for assistance is Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010; apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1 800-621-FEMA, (TTY) 1 800-462-7585.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders 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.