Press releases are posted on as a free community service.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Applying for federal disaster assistance from FEMA will not affect other federal benefits  that California survivors may receive.  

FEMA disaster grants are not taxable income. Accepting a FEMA grant will not affect eligibility for Social Security (SSI/SSDI), Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and other federal  welfare and entitlement programs.  

Disaster grants help survivors pay for temporary housing, essential home repairs, essential personal property  replacement, including your assistive equipment (e.g., wheelchairs, hearing aids, etc.) and other serious disaster related needs not covered by insurance or other sources. 

You can apply for disaster assistance at, by calling 800.621.3362, or by using the  FEMA mobile app. If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or  others, give FEMA the number for that service. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time, seven days a week.  

The deadline for applications is March 16, 2023.  

For an American Sign Language video on this topic, go online to:  

For more information about California’s recovery from the storms and floods, visit You may also follow,, @FEMARegion9/Twitter and 

Flood survivors who apply for disaster assistance from FEMA may be referred to the U.S. Small Business  Administration (SBA) for information on how to apply for a disaster loan. It’s important to submit the loan application  as soon as possible. If your application is approved, you do not have to accept the loan but failure to return the  application may disqualify you from other possible FEMA assistance. 

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. 

Recently, U.S. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced a policy change granting 12 months of no payments and  0% interest. This pertains to all disaster loans approved in response to disasters declared on or after September 21, 2022,  through September 30, 2023. This covers SBA disaster loans currently available for Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian. This policy change will benefit disaster survivors and help them to decrease the overall cost of recovery by reducing the amount o f  accrued interest they must repay. Details are available through the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800)  659-2955. Individuals with verbal or hearing impairments may dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services from  8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday, or email: 

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of funds for the long -term rebuilding of  disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private, nonprofit organizations, homeowners and  renters, fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These  disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other  agencies or organizations. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download  applications at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659- 2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance. For people who are deaf,  hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 711 to access telecommunications relay services.

Learn more at


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.