WHERE AND HOW TO GET HELP
Tips to maneuver through the relief red tape.
If your home was damaged in Hurricane Florence, you may be able to get help from the federal government to cover some of the costs. It doesn’t matter if you rent or own, or whether you have insurance coverage.
The 27 official disasterstricken counties in North Carolina are Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson.
In South Carolina, Dillon, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties qualify for FEMA’s individual assistance.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners.
Begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.Disaster Assistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
TO APPLY TO FEMA
People applying for FEMA aid need to be able to provide some identifying information, including:
Your Social Security
number, or the social security number of a child living at the house.
insurance information and bank account information.
FEMA also needs applicants’ bank account information so that if they’re approved for aid, the agency can directly deposit the money into their accounts.
FEMA aid only is avail- able for your primary residence — not vacation homes.
The North Carolina government also can help with rebuilding or repairing your home. You’ll need to provide a photo ID and proof of either citizenship or legal residency, and proof that you lived in the damaged home among other documents. Find details online at www.rebuild.nc.gov/ apply.
In South Carolina, the One SC Fund provides grants to nonprofits who provide relief, recovery or rebuilding assistance to individuals and families. It suggests individuals needing help contact United Way of South Carolina’s 2-1-1 hotline.
JOB LOSS AID
If you lost your job due to the storm and live in a disaster county you might be eligible for unemployment benefits even if you normally wouldn’t qualify or have already used up your regular unemploy- ment benefits.
The deadline to apply is Oct. 18. To learn more or to apply, people can call the North Carolina Division of Employment Security at 1-866-795-8877, email [email protected]commerce.com or go online to https://des.nc.gov.
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster signed executive orders granting paid leave to state govenrment employees who missed work because they were forced to evacuate or because of the state of emergency declared before the hurricane.
SMALL BUSINESS AID
Low-interest loans for available to homeowners, renters and business owners through the Small Business Administration. Go to https://disasterloan. sba.gov
Business owners whose property sustained damage from the storm or economic losses from having to close down — even if there were no physical damages — can qualify for SBA loans. So can losses that occurred if a business had one or more of its employees called up for emergency response duty because they’re in the military reserves.
Both North Carolina and the federal government are extending some tax filing deadlines — which had passed on Sept. 7 — until Jan. 31, 2019 for certain individuals and businesses. To learn more about whether that applies to you, go to the N.C. Department of Revenue website at www.ncdor.gov.
The S.C. Department of Revenue says it will work with taxpayers on a caseby-case basis to waive any penalties assessed for not meeting state filing or payment requirements as a result of Hurricane Florence. Find out more at dor.sc.gov/disasterrelief.
A gas pump lies on the ground after strong winds in Wilmington, N.C., toppled it after Hurricane Florence made landfall Sept. 14.