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FEMA Assistance Grants Won’t Affect Federal Entitlements, Social Security

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – After the severe storms, wind and tornadoes tore into Alabama on March 3, residents in Lee County became eligible for federal assistance. Yet some people who suffered losses and damage in the wake of the disaster have not yet chosen to seek help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Often people think that any money they are granted from FEMA will cause other federal assistance to be reduced or eliminated, or it will count as taxable income.
FEMA disaster-assistance grants will have no such affect.

Free Rebuilding and Repair Advice Available in Lee County

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – As Alabamians repair or rebuild their homes damaged by the March 3 tornadoes and straight-line winds, FEMA and home-improvement stores in Lee County are teaming up to provide free information and literature on making homes stronger and safer.

FEMA specialists will be on hand to answer questions and offer building guidance with proven methods to prevent or reduce damage from future disasters. Most of the information and the free publications are tailored for do-it-yourself work and general contractors.

Sunday Hours to Change at Disaster Recovery Centers

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The State/FEMA disaster recovery centers in Lee County will change Sunday hours starting March 24.

New hours of operation are 1-5 p.m. Sundays at both disaster recovery centers, with Monday through Saturday open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. local time.

FACT Sheet: Myths & Rumors about FEMA Assistance

Myth: FEMA assistance could affect my Social Security benefits, taxes, food stamps or Medicaid.
Fact: FEMA assistance does not affect benefits from other federal programs and is not considered taxable income by the IRS.

Myth: I can’t get FEMA help since I have insurance.
Fact: While FEMA, by law, cannot duplicate insurance benefits, many homeowners find they were underinsured for their losses and should apply to see if they qualify for assistance.

Fact Sheet: Reasons Why You Might Have Been Found Ineligible by FEMA

If you received a letter from FEMA that says you’re ineligible for housing assistance, that’s not the last word. You might just need to provide more information to FEMA.

Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter or Email

CLANTON, Ala. – After registering for disaster assistance, you may receive a determination letter by mail or email from FEMA. Read your determination letter carefully to understand your eligibility for federal assistance.

There are many reasons for an initial ineligibility determination. The most common reason is the need to provide FEMA with a copy of a letter verifying your insurance coverage before FEMA can process your grant application.

How You Can Help Disaster Survivors

CLANTON, Ala. – In the wake of a disaster, Americans have always come together with compassion and courage to ask how they can help survivors of catastrophic events like the March 3 tornado devastating Lee County.

Residents of Lee County who need help with clean up or other assistance should call 211.

“Support for residents of Lee County who sustained losses in the March 3 tornado outbreak has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated,” said Gerard M. Stolar, the Federal Coordinating Officer for the Alabama tornado disaster.

What to Expect After Applying for Disaster Assistance

ATLANTA – Lee County survivors of the March 3 severe storms and tornadoes should file a claim with their insurance company immediately and begin cleaning up. Disaster damage should be documented through photos/videos, and all receipts for disaster-related purchases should be kept.

If you have uninsured or underinsured losses from the storms, contact FEMA for disaster assistance by visiting or calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams Canvassing Lee County

ATLANTA – FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are working in areas of Lee County affected by the March 3 tornadoes and storms. These teams help survivors register for assistance, identify and address potential needs, and make connections with local, state, federal and voluntary agencies with the resources to assist them.

Teams will be reaching out across Lee County and at the following locations 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT seven days a week until further notice.

Smiths Station Fire and Rescue
50 Lee Rd 430
Smiths Station, AL 36877

Survivors in Lee County May Apply for Disaster Assistance

ATLANTA – Homeowners and renters in Lee County, Alabama, may now apply for disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from the March 3 severe storms, straight line winds and tornadoes.
Lee County was designated for Individual Assistance on March 5, 2019. To be eligible for disaster aid, storm damage and losses from the severe storms and tornadoes must have occurred March 3. Disaster survivor assistance specialists are helping people register for assistance in Lee County.