HARRISBURG, Pa. -- With just a few weeks left to apply for disaster assistance before the deadline of Nov. 14, disaster officials would like to share the top wrongly held reasons people neglect to register for assistance. These are the top reasons:
- I thought if I had insurance I couldn't apply.
- I thought I had to wait until I got my insurance settlement.
- I thought that because of my income level I would not qualify.
- I thought renters couldn't get assistance, just homeowners.
- I thought any assistance would be taxable or affect my Social Security payments.
- I thought I could only receive a loan... and I don't want a loan.
- I thought I couldn't apply if I had already cleaned up and made repairs.
- I thought I applied when I filled out a form for my county.
- I thought since I didn't receive much damage I wouldn't get any help.
- I thought I wouldn't apply because a lot of people need more help than I do.
None of these reasons-and many others that people think make sense-are valid reasons for neglecting to apply for disaster assistance if you had damage to your home or business from either Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee. More than 86,000 people have applied and more than $115 million in grants that do not have to be repaid have been approved for those who are eligible. Don't miss out on an important source of help in recovering from the disasters.
"We advise people not to try to figure out for themselves whether or not they may qualify for help." said Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA's) Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas J. McCool. "Call FEMA and register and find out if your damages make you eligible for assistance."
Apply as soon as possible before the Nov. 14 deadline at www.disasterassistance.gov or call toll-free 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available to assist with your call. If you have a disability and need help registering, please ask.
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.