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Disaster Aid Does Not Affect Social Security, Medicare Benefits

Release date: 
November 19, 2012
Release Number: 

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Disaster assistance does not count as income. Survivors who receive federal disaster assistance as a result of Hurricane Sandy will not pay additional income taxes or see any reduction in their Social Security checks or any other federal benefits.

Grants for temporary housing, essential home repairs, replacement of personal property or other needs do not count as income. Donations from charitable organizations also will not affect Social Security payments or Medicare benefits.

“We understand the concerns of senior citizens and other survivors and do not want them to be burdened with the question of whether or not disaster assistance will affect other benefits they may be receiving,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Byrne. “The assistance we provide will not affect taxes or social security. Anyone with questions can call the FEMA helpline or visit one of our disaster recovery centers.”

Survivors can find the nearest disaster recovery center by visiting or by calling the FEMA helpline, 800-621-FEMA (3362). People who have a speech disability or hearing loss can call TTY 800-462-7585.

Survivors can also register with FEMA by calling the helpline numbers. Online registration is available at Or people can register with a tablet or smartphone by using the FEMA app or by visiting

Homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained damage from the hurricane in any of the 13 New York counties designated for federal individual assistance may be eligible for FEMA grants to help 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 of 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 storm and the amount of their insurance settlement, if any.

For more information on Social Security, contact the Social Security Administration by calling 800-772-1213 or by visiting
For more information on Medicare, call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) or visit

For more information on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in New York, visit

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:10