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Don’t Let Misconceptions Stop You from Applying for FEMA Aid

Release date: 
November 14, 2019
Release Number: 
R4 DR-4429-MS NR 024

JACKSON, Miss. – If you were affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and flooding which began in February, the last day to register for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. You are eligible to apply if you live in Clay, Humphreys, Issaquena, Lowndes, Monroe, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo counties.

If your friends experienced damage related to last February’s storms, they may have misconceptions about federal disaster assistance and may assume they are not eligible.

  • FEMA assistance is not just for homeowners. Renters who lost personal property or were displaced may be eligible for assistance.
  • Even if you have insurance, you may be eligible for grants to cover uninsured losses.
  • FEMA assistance does not affect benefits you may be receiving from other federal programs, such as Social Security, food stamps or Medicaid.
  • FEMA provides grants; it does not make loans. These grants do not have to be repaid and they are not considered taxable income.
  • You may be eligible for assistance for repairs to your home, even if the repairs are already completed.
  • FEMA is an agency of the federal government. Funding is available to assist all eligible survivors with their eligible disaster-related needs. A grant you may receive does not take away from another survivor’s assistance.

FEMA grants may cover expenses for temporary housing, home repairs, replacement of damaged personal property and other storm- and flood-related needs.

It’s easy to register with FEMA; the process usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Even if you are unsure of your eligibility, you can apply by visiting  or by calling 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585), 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (ET). Multilingual operators are available. The deadline to register is Nov. 19.

All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585).

FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during, and after disasters.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may visit a temporary disaster recovery center, or contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing or visiting SBA’s website at Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

Last Updated: 
November 14, 2019 - 10:24