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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, 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.


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