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Senior Citizens Won't Lose Benefits If They Receive Disaster Aid; Can get help in registration process, FEMA says...


Application Period for Disaster Food Benefits Extended for Eight Counties

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 23, 2012) – The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is extending the application period for Kentuckians living and working in eight counties that were affected by recent tornadoes and severe weather to apply for federal disaster food benefits.

Kentuckians living or working in Johnson, Laurel, Lawrence, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Pendleton and Wolfe counties who were affected by the March 2, storms and tornadoes will have until Wednesday, March 28, to apply for the disaster benefits.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), approved the extension and is providing resources to purchase food for residents of these counties, part of a federal disaster declaration from the March 2 storms. People who work in these counties and have lost income may also apply.

SNAP is formerly known as food stamps. CHFS’s Department of Community Based Services administers the program in all 120 Kentucky counties.

One-time disaster food benefits

Residents who live or work in the affected counties and do not currently participate in the regular SNAP program or are not eligible for food benefits under the normal SNAP eligibility guidelines may apply for temporary help with food costs. To be eligible, the household must have:


  •    Experienced damage to or destruction of their home or self-owned business;
  •    Disaster-related expenses not expected to be reimbursed in March;
  •    A reduction, termination or delay in receiving income; or
  •    No access to liquid financial assets, such as checking or savings accounts.


The household’s income and accessible resources received in the month of the disaster will be counted in determining eligibility for the food benefits.  These are one-time benefits based on the household’s size.

The household’s income and accessible resources received in March will be counted in determining eligibility for the food benefits.  These one-time benefits are based on the household’s size.

How to apply

Applicants must bring proper personal identification and verification of residency. It is also recommended, if possible, that applicants bring proof of Social Security numbers for all household members; take home pay and income received in the month the disaster caused losses; accessible resources like savings and checking accounts and cash on hand; and statements to verify disaster-related expenses.

The DCBS offices in the following counties will accept applications Monday, March 26, through Wednesday, March 28. Office hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Residents should contact their local office for more information.

Families who have lost income and live or work in the disaster counties can apply in the following locations:

Johnson County: 205 Main St., Suite 1, Paintsville, Ky. 41240. Phone: (606) 788-7118
Laurel County: 31 South Laurel Road, London, Ky. 40744. Phone: (606) 330-2025
Lawrence County: 180 Bulldog Lane, Suite 1, Louisa, Ky. 41230. Phone: (606) 638-4526
Magoffin County: 125 S. Church St., Salyersville, Ky. 41465. Phone: (606) 349-6131
Martin County: 104 E. Main St., Suite 200, P.O. Box 408, Inez, Ky. 41224. Phone: (606) 298-3577
Morgan County: 87 Redwine Road (Former Wrigley Elementary), West Liberty, Ky. 41472. Phone: (606) 495-8588 or (606) 495-8590.
Pendleton County: 500 Market St., Falmouth, Ky. 41040. Phone: (859) 654-6123
Wolfe County: 330 Main St., Campton, Ky. 41301. Phone: (606) 668-3175

Penalties for fraud

It is illegal to sell, trade or give away SNAP and disaster SNAP electronic benefits cards. Households that deliberately withhold or misrepresent information and receive benefits for which they are not entitled will be required to pay them back. Households who commit fraud may be disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits, fined up to $250,000, and/or incarcerated



FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Kentucky senior citizens who receive disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a result of the recent severe storms and tornadoes will not lose their Social Security benefits nor have their benefits cut.

Disaster grants will not affect income levels, which might cause a senior citizen to become ineligible for Medicaid, welfare assistance, food stamps or Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Seniors also should know that state/federal grants do not have to be repaid.

“FEMA stands ready to assist disaster survivors, especially senior citizens, in a quick and efficient way so that they can get on with rebuilding their lives,” said Libby Turner, the federal officer in charge of recovery operations in Kentucky. “FEMA urges all senior citizens in the designated counties whose homes or other property were damaged or destroyed during the recent storms and tornadoes to register as soon as possible.”

After registering with FEMA, seniors can visit any Disaster Recovery Center to get answers to questions they may have. Most recovery centers are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All Disaster Recovery Centers are closed Sundays.

While it is recommended that registration be completed before visiting a recovery center, if a disaster survivor requires help to register with FEMA, they can visit a recovery center for this purpose.

To register for assistance by phone, call 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. If seniors use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), they can call 800-621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s also possible to register online at or by smartphone or tablet at

Again, if disabled seniors need help registering, they should not hesitate to contact FEMA to ask for help.

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.

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MORE FEMA NEWS March 22, 2012

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