Tornado Relief

Mar 22, 2012 6:36 AM

Senior Citizens Won't Lose Benefits If They Receive Disaster Aid

Kentucky senior citizens who receive disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a result of the recent severe storms and tornadoes will not lose their Social Security benefits nor have their benefits cut.

Disaster grants will not affect income levels, which might cause a senior citizen to become ineligible for Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps or Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Seniors also should know that state/federal grants do not have to be repaid.

"FEMA stands ready to assist disaster survivors, especially senior citizens, in a quick and efficient way so that they can get on with rebuilding their lives," said Libby Turner, the federal officer in charge of recovery operations in Kentucky. "FEMA urges all senior citizens in the designated counties whose homes or other property were damaged or destroyed during the recent storms and tornadoes to register as soon as possible."

After registering with FEMA, seniors can visit any Disaster Recovery Center to get answers to questions they may have. Most recovery centers are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All Disaster Recovery Centers are closed Sundays.

While it is recommended that registration be completed before visiting a recovery center, if a disaster survivor requires help to register with FEMA, they can visit a recovery center for this purpose.

To register for assistance by phone, call 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. If seniors use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), they can call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It's also possible to register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. Again, if disabled seniors need help registering, they should not hesitate to contact FEMA to ask for help.

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