Does help from FEMA have to be paid back?
No. In most cases, FEMA grants do not have to be paid back. If you have insurance that covers your temporary housing costs, but ask FEMA to advance you some money to help you pay for those costs while your insurance is delayed, you will need to pay that money back to FEMA after your receive your insurance settlement.
After applying, you may be referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for an SBA disaster assistance loan as part of the disaster assistance process.
FEMA works with SBA to determine if you should get money for personal property or transportation assistance from FEMA or SBA. FEMA is not allowed to provide money for these losses to people who may qualify for an SBA loan.
FEMA will automatically refer you to SBA to be considered for a disaster loan if you meet SBA’s income standards. FEMA will use your household annual gross income and number of dependents to determine if FEMA will refer you to the SBA.
You don’t have to accept an SBA loan offer; however, if you are approved and you do not accept it, you will not be referred back to FEMA for personal property or transportation assistance. You can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 if you have additional questions or need more information.
FEMA assistance is not taxable income and won’t affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or other federal benefits