Albany, NY -- Individuals who suffered damage to their property in the April 20 AuSable Forks earthquake and then registered for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are being urged to complete and return their U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan applications.
"If someone registered with FEMA and received a loan application from the SBA, then they should complete and return the form promptly," said Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson. "The SBA needs the completed form to determine if the applicant is eligible for a low interest loan, or whether they should be referred instead to the federally-funded, state-run Individual and Family Grant (IFG) program for consideration."
"We can't consider anyone for an IFG grant unless they have been referred to the program by the SBA," said Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO). "We want to help everyone who is entitled to assistance."
If the SBA determines that a renter or homeowner is not eligible for a loan, the application is referred to the IFG program where they may be eligible for a grant. The average grant will be lower than the typical loan for which an earthquake victim can qualify.
The first step in the application process must be a call to FEMA's toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech- or hearing-impaired. Once registered, applicants can call the FEMA HELPLine at 1-800-525-0321 with questions about their application. Both lines are available between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Individuals in six declared counties in upstate New York-Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Washington and Warren-are eligible to apply for assistance if the earthquake damaged their property.