FEMA Helps People with Disabilities Access Disaster Assistance

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Release date: 
June 15, 2013
Release Number: 
IL-4116 NR-054

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AURORA, Ill. –  To help entire communities recover from the severe storms and flooding between April 16 to May 5, FEMA is working to make sure Illinois residents with disabilities and those with functional needs have equal access to disaster assistance programs.

To achieve this goal, FEMA coordinates efforts with state and local agencies and volunteer organizations to identify needs and locate appropriate resources. FEMA has a Disability Integration Advisor on site in Illinois to coordinate the various elements of the program.

FEMA provides physical access to facilities and reasonable program modifications as needed. For example, brochures are translated into large print, Braille and most languages. Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are accessible to people with disabilities, and assistance is offered to complete forms. Amplified phones, assisted listening devices, captioned phones, magnifiers, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Video Relay Services (VRS) are available at DRCs. On-site interpreters, including American Sign Language interpreters, are available upon request.

Notify FEMA staff if you need an accommodation during part of the assistance process.

Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid, medical waiver programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance.

It is not necessary to visit a DRC to register with FEMA. Individuals can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. People who use 711-Relay or VRS can call 800-621-3362. For more information visit the Illinois Disaster website www.fema.gov/disaster/4116.

Multilingual phone operators are available on the FEMA helpline. Choose Option 2 for Spanish and Option 3 for other languages.

The deadline to register for FEMA disaster assistance is Tuesday, July 9.

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 twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Media Contact: 571-408-1835

Last Updated: 
June 15, 2013 - 16:42
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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