NEW YORK – People receiving Social Security payments or other government assistance should not be concerned that FEMA disaster assistance might affect their benefits.
If you live in the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk or Westchester County and have applied to FEMA for federal disaster assistance after Hurricane Ida, you are in no danger of losing other federal benefits to which you are entitled.
FEMA disaster grants are not considered taxable income. Accepting a FEMA grant will not affect your Social Security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other federal assistance programs.
Disaster grants help pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs caused by Ida, personal property replacement and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by your insurance or other sources.
There are several ways to apply for federal disaster assistance:
- Visit DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service. Helpline operators are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
- You can also visit a Disaster Recovery Center and meet in person with FEMA staff and representatives of other federal and state agencies who can provide information about disaster assistance. To find a recovery center near you, visit DRC Locator (fema.gov).
The Rockland County Disaster Recovery Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at:
- Orangetown Soccer Club Complex, 175 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY 10962
The following centers are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, closed Sundays:
- Hostos College, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
- Queens College, 152-45 Melbourne Ave., Queens, NY 11367
- Medgar Evers College, 231 Crown St., Brooklyn, NY 11225
- College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314
- Michael J. Tully Park Physical Activity Center, 1801 Evergreen Ave., New Hyde Park, NY 11040
- Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 NY-25A, Mount Sinai, NY 11766
- Public Library, 136 Prospect Ave., Mamaroneck, NY 10543
The deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance is Monday, Dec. 6.
For additional online resources as well as FEMA downloadable pamphlets and other aids, visit DisasterAssistance.gov and click “Information.”
For referrals to agencies that support community-specific needs, call 211 or visit https://www.211nys.org/contact-us. For New York City residents, call 311.