RALEIGH, N.C. -- Thousands recovering from the April16 tornadoes have been helped, but many more may be eligible for disaster assistance from North Carolina and FEMA.
FEMA disaster assistance helps fill the gaps in disaster recovery, even for those who get insurance payouts or other assistance. There are many reasons people don’t register for disaster assistance, but these are among the top:
Won’t my insurance cover all my losses?
You may be eligible for help with uninsured or underinsured losses, including damage to wells and septic systems.
If you’re still waiting for a visit from an insurance adjuster, or for an insurance settlement, go ahead and apply for assistance. Ensure you do so by the FEMA June 20 filing deadline.
Promptly make necessary repairs to make your house livable and be sure to keep papers and receipts for all work.
Will FEMA assistance reduce my other benefits?
Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Aid to Families with Dependent Children.
Do I make too much money to apply for FEMA assistance?
Most federal and state disaster assistance programs are available to individuals of all income levels. The kinds of help provided depend on the applicant's circumstances and unmet needs. The aid is to help individuals and communities come back as quickly as possible from a disaster.
Did I sustain enough damage?
The damage caused by the tornadoes, strong winds and heavy rains – and the costs associated with repairs or rebuilding – may not be apparent for several weeks. By registering with FEMA now, you may be covered for those damages that are discovered later.
Anyone in the designated counties can register for disaster assistance by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 800-462-7585) or going online to www.disasterassistance.gov.
The North Carolina counties under the disaster declaration for Individual Assistance are Bertie, Bladen, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Onslow, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Wake and Wilson.
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.