FEMA: Disaster assistance does not affect government benefits

FEMA: Disaster assistance does not affect government benefits

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday disaster assistance does not count as income, and therefore will not affect recipients' Social Security checks or other government benefits.

According to a FEMA news release, Medicare benefits and eligibility for food stamps or Medicaid are also unaffected by disaster relief funds. Eligibility for FEMA assistance is not dependent on outcome, but is based on the amount of damages incurred as a direct result of Hurricane Matthew.

The number of registrants for individual assistance in designated counties totals 35,690. The total amount of individual and household assistance disbursed is $23,324,413. FEMA has completed 22,613 of 24,308 inspections issued. The Small Business Administration has approved 159 applications totaling $5,642,400 of 1,062 applications received.

Survivors of Hurricane Matthew have until December 13 to register with FEMA for disaster assistance by one of the following methods:

  • Call 800-621-3362 (voice, 711 or video services) or 800-462-7585. Lines are open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and multilingual operators are available.
  • Apply online here.
  • Visit a Disaster Recovery Center. To find the one nearest you, click here and check “Quick Links." DRCs are accessible to people with disabilities. The centers have tools to amplify sound, magnifiers and materials in alternative formats along with video remote interpretation. Sign language interpreters are available upon request at the center.

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