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FEMA Grants Have No Impact On Social Security Or Other Benefits

Release date: 
June 16, 2011
Release Number: 


RALEIGH, N.C. – If you are unsure about how federal disaster assistance may affect you financially, emergency management officials say there’s no need for concern.

North Carolinians who receive grants for disaster-related losses don't have to worry about losing Social Security or disability benefits, pay additional taxes, or face a reduction from other income-based programs.

“Storm survivors can be assured that their acceptance of a disaster grant will have no affect on their other sources of income or benefits in any way,” Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch said.

Here are answers to the two most common questions about FEMA grants and other benefit programs:

Question: If I earn more than a certain amount each year, I must repay $1 of my Social Security payment for every $2 earned. Will FEMA grants add to my income and require me to repay Social Security?

Answer: No. FEMA grants for housing and Other Needs Assistance are not counted as income.

Question: Will receiving a grant result in my income being increased so that I am no longer eligible for Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families?

Answer: No. Grants for housing and Other Needs Assistance are not counted as income in determining eligibility for any income-based programs funded by the U.S. government.

June 20 is the deadline for anyone affected by the April 16 tornadoes to register for disaster assistance through FEMA. Grants may cover emergency home repairs, rental assistance and funds to address essential losses not covered by insurance.

Registering for disaster assistance takes about 20 minutes and can be done by phone, on the internet and with mobile devices. 

Telephone registration is available daily between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. at 800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY number is 800-462-7585 for deaf or hard-of-hearing callers.

Register anytime using the internet by logging on to or with a mobile device by going to All FEMA information is available in Spanish at  FEMA will assist anyone with a disability who needs help registering – just ask.

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available for homeowners and renters as well as business owners.  More information regarding the SBA program can be found at

FEMA's housing assistance and Other Needs Assistance grants for medical, dental, and funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be considered for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.  Applicants who do not qualify for an SBA loan may be eligible to receive Other Needs Assistance grants for these items.

For more information about this disaster, go to and click on the red “April Tornadoes” tab. More information is also available at

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.


Last Updated: 
July 8, 2017 - 10:53
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