Xenia, OH -- Disaster assistance for victims of the severe storms and tornado that hit the Xenia area last month totaled more than $1.4 million in grants and low-interest loans as of close of business Monday, Oct. 23. More than 800 people have called to apply for assistance to date, federal and state officials said.
Disaster housing grants totaling $24,619 and Individual and Family Grants (IFG) totaling $51,333 had been approved. Disaster housing grants pay for temporary rentals and essential emergency repairs, while IFG provides a safety net for people who have exhausted all other means of assistance and still have unmet disaster-related needs.
By the close of business Oct. 23, the SBA had approved $1.35 million in low-interest loans for homeowners, renters and business owners with disaster-related uninsured or underinsured losses.
SBA Workshop Closes This Week
SBA officials will close their workshop in downtown Xenia at the close of business Thursday, Oct. 26. Until that time, the workshop at the Juvenile Court building, 61 Greene St., will continue to offer personal assistance to disaster loan applicants from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. More than 725 SBA loan packets have been issued, but as of close of business Oct. 23, only 86 had been returned by applicants. If you receive an SBA loan application packet, you should complete and return it as soon as possible in order to be considered for low-interest loans and other disaster grant programs. Residents do not have to wait until a possible insurance claim has been settled to call and apply.
Applicants can receive information on the SBA disaster loan program or help with applications by calling 1-800-359-2227 throughout the application period. The deadline for turning in completed SBA loan applications is Nov. 27.
Assistance Still Just A Toll-Free Call Away
Although the disaster field office in Xenia is closing this week, federal and state disaster assistance is still just a toll-free call away. Greene County residents who were affected by the recent disaster are being encouraged to apply before the application deadline of Monday, November 27. Anyone in Greene County who suffered damage or loss in the September storms and tornado can apply for assistance by calling toll-free 800-462-9029. Those with a hearing or speech impairment can call TTY 800-462-7585. Application phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and multi-lingual operators are available.
If you have already applied but need further information or assistance with your application, you can call the FEMA Helpline at 800-462-0321 (TTY 800-462-7585) between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with questions about assistance programs and/or application status. Disaster assistance funds, which are non-taxable, are specifically intended to cover uninsured or under-insured losses.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance Available
Greene County residents who have lost employment as a result of the September 20 severe storm and tornado have only a few more days to apply for federal disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) benefits. The deadline is Oct. 30. The DUA program, which is administered by the state and fully funded by FEMA, extends coverage to people out of work because of the disaster, including self-employed persons, farm owners and others not covered under regular unemployment benefits.
Applications can be made at any Ohio Department of Job and Family Services office or by calling toll-free 877-644-6562. The information necessary to make application for DUA benefits includes proof of social security coverage (social security number or card) and, if...