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Answering questions on FEMA relief

WCNC Charlotte's Verify team wanted to look into common questions regarding federal assistance when disaster strikes.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We have seen the devastating images coming from Southwest Florida. As people recover, they are thinking about rebuilding and getting the aid they need.

WCNC Charlotte's VERIFY team wanted to look into common questions regarding federal assistance when disaster strikes. 

For these questions, we went straight to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also known as FEMA. 


If you are a renter, can you get assistance from FEMA? 


This is true.

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Yes, you can get help from FEMA if you are a renter. 

According to their website, FEMA assistance is not just for homeowners. FEMA may provide help to renters who lost personal property or were displaced. 


If there are other family members or roommates living in your home, can everyone get assistance? 


This is true.

Yes, it is possible for roommates or family members also to receive aid, but this is on a case-by-case basis. 

FEMA says they evaluate the needs of all eligible survivors on a case-by-case basis but are committed to giving each individual survivor help. They also say it's important for homeowners to tell them all the needs of members in the household, whether they are related or not. 


If you apply, will this assistance affect social security benefits, taxes, food stamps, or Medicaid? 

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This is false.

No, it will not affect your taxes or any other federal programs. 

According to FEMA, the assistance is not considered taxable income by the IRS and will not affect benefits from other federal programs. 

To apply for disaster relief, click here.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.

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