One Month Left to Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
December 22, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Homeowners and renters in Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties who had damage to their property following Hurricane Ian have until Monday, Jan. 23 to apply for federal disaster assistance.

As of Dec. 22, more than $2.69 million in combined FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration assistance was approved for homeowners, renters and businesses in South Carolina following Hurricane Ian, which impacted the coast in September.

Of that total, more than $1.46 million in FEMA assistance has been approved for disaster survivors, including:

  • more than $1.23 million approved for housing repair and rental assistance
  • $232,297 approved for medical and dental needs, childcare, car repair or replacement, and other disaster-related needs

The Small Business Administration has approved more than $1.23 million in low-interest disaster loans to help survivors rebuild their homes and businesses. The SBA is the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds for homeowners, renters and business owners.

Survivors are encouraged to file insurance claims for damage to their homes, personal property and vehicles before applying for FEMA assistance. FEMA grants do not have to be repaid. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program is designed to help disaster survivors with basic, critical needs such as finding a safe, sanitary and functional place to live while you look for a long-term housing solution. These grants are not designed to replace everything you lost. By law, FEMA cannot pay for expenses your insurance already covered or money you received from other sources such as crowdfunding or voluntary agencies.

Applying for FEMA disaster assistance is free if you had damage from Hurricane Ian. Here’s how to apply:

  • Go to
  • Use the FEMA mobile app
  • 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 speak many languages and lines are open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
  • For an accessible video on how to apply, go to

Submitting an SBA loan application is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of FEMA disaster assistance. To apply for an SBA loan:

  • Use SBA’s secure website at
  • Request a paper application to apply by U.S. mail by calling SBA’s customer service line at 800-659-2955
  • You may also email or call 800-659-2955 for application assistance and for more information on the SBA disaster assistance program. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339.
  • The SBA deadline for homeowners and renters who had property damage from Ian to return loan applications is Friday, Jan. 20.
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