Facts For Older Adults On Registering For Disaster Assistance

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Release date: 
December 13, 2012
Release Number: 

TRENTON, N.J. --  If you had losses because of Hurricane Sandy you are encouraged to register for disaster assistance. You may be eligible for grants or assistance programs from federal, state, local or voluntary agencies. Here are several facts you should know:

FACT:  A FEMA grant does not affect social security benefits or any government benefit, including Medicare, Medicaid or food stamps. 

FACT:  Disaster assistance has no bearing on decisions about a senior’s need for nursing home care. FEMA and its state and local partners work to keep survivors in their own homes.                     

FACT:  Specially trained FEMA staff and volunteers are available to help anyone who has a physical limitation or other problems registering. You will not have to fill out a form. The telephone specialist will input your information for you when you call 800-621-FEMA or TTY 800-462-7585.

 FACT:  You can check the status of your application online or speak to a disaster representative in person at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). If you need assistance getting to a DRC call 800-621-FEMA or TTY 800-462-7585 and FEMA will arrange to have someone take you to the nearest DRC.

FACT:  If English is not your first language, FEMA telephone specialists can speak to you in almost any language. For languages other than English or Spanish press option “3”. You will be able to choose from more than 250 languages available.

FACT:  Registering with FEMA is a simple process. There is no paperwork involved. Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. By phone or 711/VRS, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585.

FACT:  Depending on the information you provide, FEMA may ask you to fill out an application for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loan. You are automatically considered for other federal grant programs if the SBA application shows you cannot repay a loan. That’s why it is so important to fill out and return the SBA application.

FACT:  FEMA funding is available to all eligible survivors who had disaster losses. Even if you have flood insurance you should register. FEMA may be able to help with losses your insurance does not cover.

FACT:  Income is not a consideration when you apply for FEMA assistance.

FACT:  Even if you received disaster assistance in the past, following Hurricane Irene, for example, you may be eligible for assistance if you suffered changes from Hurricane Sandy. 

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.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated: 
December 13, 2012 - 16:30
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