COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina residents who receive Social Security payments or other government assistance should not be concerned that FEMA disaster assistance will affect your benefits.
FEMA assistance is not taxable income and does not affect eligibility for other benefits. FEMA grants do not affect Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. And they do not affect assistance provided under South Carolina’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, or other federal welfare and entitlement programs.
Disaster funding helps survivors pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs, essential personal property repairs and replacement, and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other sources.
Hurricane Ian lashed South Carolina Sept. 25 to Oct. 4. Under the president’s major disaster declaration, affected individuals and households in three FEMA-designated counties, Charleston, Georgetown and Horry, are eligible to apply for assistance. If you were among those who had damage or losses to your primary home, you can apply for FEMA assistance.
Applying with other agencies such as American Red Cross or the state does not make you eligible for FEMA assistance; you must apply with FEMA to be considered for federal assistance. The deadline to apply for FEMA assistance is Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.
Here are the ways to apply: Visit DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Help is available in many languages. If you use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS) or captioned telephone service, give FEMA the number for that service. Helpline operators are available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for an interpreter who speaks your language.
For an accessible video on how to apply for FEMA assistance, go to YouTube.com/watch?v=WZGpWI2RCNw.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency or economic status. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call the Civil Rights Resource line at 833-285-.7448