FEMA Grants Won’t Affect Social Security or Other Benefits

Release Date Release Number
NR 015
Release Date:
October 19, 2020

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Applying for federal disaster assistance from FEMA will not affect other federal benefits that Florida disaster survivors may receive.

Residents in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties who register with FEMA may have questions about whether funds from FEMA might cause them to lose other federal payments to which they are entitled.

FEMA disaster grants are not taxable income. Accepting a FEMA grant will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and other federal welfare and entitlement programs.

Disaster grants help survivors pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs, essential personal property replacement and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other sources.

Survivors can apply for disaster assistance in the following ways:

    • Visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
    • Download the FEMA App.
    • Call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should provide FEMA with their specific phone number assigned to that service.

The deadline to register with FEMA is Dec. 1, 2020.

Accessible video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii7nc94B30c

For more information about Hurricane Sally recovery in Florida, visit the FEMA disaster webpage at https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4564 or the Florida Division of Emergency Management webpage at https://www.floridadisaster.org/info/.

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