CLINTON, Miss. -- Mississippi disaster aid recipients don't have to worry that their federal grants might cause them to lose Social Security or disability benefits, pay additional taxes, or reduce any other income-based programs said officials with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Here are answers to the two most common questions about FEMA grants and other benefit programs:
Question: If I earn more than a certain amount each year, I must repay $1 of my Social Security payment for every $2 earned. Will FEMA grants add to my income and require me to repay Social Security?
Answer: No. FEMA grants for housing and Other Needs Assistance are not counted as income.
Question: Will receiving a grant result in my income being increased so that I am no longer eligible for Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families?
Answer: No. Grants for housing and Other Needs Assistance are not counted as income in determining eligibility for any income-based benefit programs funded by the U.S. government.
Registering takes about 20 minutes and can be done by phone, on the internet and mobile devices.
Telephone registration is available daily between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with hearing or speech disabilities can call 800-462-7585. Individuals who use a videophone can use the Mississippi Relay Service (7-1-1) to contact FEMA's helpline.
Register anytime using the internet by logging on to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or with a mobile device by going to m.fema.gov. All FEMA information is available in Spanish at www.fema.gov/esp/index.shtm.
FEMA will assist anyone with a disability who needs help registering—just ask.
Anyone affected by the April storms and flooding is urged to register for disaster assistance through FEMA. Grants may cover emergency home repairs, rental assistance and funds to address essential losses not covered by insurance.
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available for homeowners and renters as well as business owners.
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.