Following the recent severe April storms and flooding, many New York residents who applied for disaster assistance reportedly found they were issued a U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application although they were not business owners.
After a federally declared disaster, the SBA provides low-interest, long-term loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and nonprofit organizations to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate and personal property. The SBA can loan up to $200,000 to repair primary residences and up to $40,000 to replace disaster-damaged personal property. Loans of up to $1.5 million are available for businesses.
It is important that this application be completed and returned if an individual needs financial assistance, according to state and federal officials. The SBA loan is an important source of recovery funds. If an applicant does not qualify for a loan, he or she may then be considered for a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Other Needs Assistance program.
To receive either a loan or a grant, however, the SBA loan application must be completed and returned, even if an individual does not feel they can afford a loan. Those who are not eligible for a loan must be turned down by the SBA before their request will be considered for grants or other assistance programs.
Those who have not yet registered may apply for assistance by calling the FEMA teleregistration number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired. The teleregistration lines are available Monday – Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice.
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