Officials: FEMA grants won’t affect other disaster benefits Mississippians may receive

BILOXI, Miss. (WXXV) – Applying for federal disaster assistance from FEMA will not affect other federal benefits that Mississippi disaster survivors may receive.

Officials with FEMA and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) made the clarification in a statement Monday morning.

Residents in George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Stone 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 or other federal welfare and entitlement programs.

Disaster grants help 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.

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 6 a.m. to midnight Central 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 March 1, 2021.

For more information about Hurricane Zeta recovery in Mississippi, visit the FEMA disaster webpage at https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4576 or the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency webpage at https://www.msema.org/zeta/.

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