TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- People who receive federal disaster assistance as a result of Tropical Storm Debby will not pay additional income taxes or see any reduction in their Social Security checks or any other federal benefits.
Disaster assistance for temporary housing, essential home repairs, replacement of personal property or for other needs does not count as income. Disaster relief payments from the government or donations from charitable organizations will not affect Social Security payments or Medicare benefits.
People can register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster assistance by using any of the following methods:
- By phone, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Assistance is available in most languages. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (TTY) 800-462-7585.
- Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- By tablet or smartphone, use the FEMA app or go to m.fema.gov.
Those who have experienced damage from the storms may be eligible for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program. This may cover expenses for temporary housing, home repairs, replacement of damaged personal property and other disaster-related needs, such as medical, dental or transportation costs not covered by insurance or other programs.
Eligibility for FEMA assistance is not dependent on income. The determination on the amount of disaster assistance an eligible applicant receives is based on the amount of loss and damages incurred as a direct result of the recent storms and flooding and the amount of their insurance settlement, if any.
For more information on Florida’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov or http://www.floridadisaster.org. On Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/FloridaSERT. To receive Twitter updates: http://twitter.com/FLSERT or www.twitter.com/femaregion4.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
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.