Skip to main content
NOTE: Terms of Service Updated 21 Feb 2018

Seniors and Federal Disaster Assistance

  • Published: 2011-06-17 : FEMA.
  • Synopsis: Disaster survivors accepting Commonwealth and federal disaster assistance grants will not cause loss of Social Security benefits additional income taxes or change eligibility for income-based benefit programs.

Main Document

What Seniors Should Know About Federal Disaster Assistance - FEMA grants will not affect Social Security or other benefits.

Some Kentucky disaster survivors may be wondering if accepting Commonwealth and federal disaster assistance grants will cause them to lose Social Security benefits, pay additional income taxes, or change their eligibility for income-based benefit programs.

The answer is no.

Officials with the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) want to reassure survivors of the severe storms, tornadoes and floods that swept the Commonwealth between April 22 and May 20 that FEMA disaster assistance funds are tax-free.

The disaster assistance funds are not considered income and will not affect your Social Security benefits, your Commonwealth or federal retirement benefits, or any other temporary public benefit.

Here are answers to some common questions Kentucky survivors may have regarding disaster assistance grants:

Question: If I earn more than a certain amount each year, I must repay $1 of my Social Security payment for every $2 earned. Will FEMA grants add to my income and require me to repay Social Security

Answer: No. FEMA grants for housing and other needs are not considered income.

Question: Will receiving a disaster assistance grant make my income increase to the extent that I am no longer eligible for Medicaid, food stamps, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families administered by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Answer: No. Grants for housing and other needs are not counted as income in determining eligibility for any income-tested benefit programs funded by the U.S. government or the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Question: Does FEMA disaster assistance need to be repaid

Answer: No. FEMA aid is a grant that does not need to be repaid. Some affected residents also may seek US Small Business Administration loans, which must be repaid.

For other questions, consult your local attorney or contact Kentucky Disaster Legal Services at 877-625-9839. Those with a speech or hearing disability should call 7-1-1 to be connected to a telephone relay service.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Similar Topics

1 : Efforts to Support Survivors in Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey : FEMA.
2 : Potential For U.S. Nuclear Disasters Greatly Underestimated : Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
3 : Climate Adaptation, Adaptive Climate Justice, and People with Disabilities : Alex Ghenis - Project manager for the New Earth Disability project at the World Institute on Disability (WID).
4 : What Happens After You Register with FEMA for Disaster Assistance : FEMA.
5 : Quake Kare Kits Make Disaster Preparedness Easier : Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis.
From our Disaster Planning Guides section - Full List (53 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : Early Childhood Education Requires Overhaul to Make it Accessible and Affordable
2 : How the Human Brain Can Tell Our Arms and Legs Apart
3 : Protein Levels in Spinal Fluid Correlate to Posture and Gait Difficulty in Parkinson's Disease
4 : Palliative Care Findings on Caregiver Depression, LGBT Partners, Moral Distress


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.