Mesa, AZ -- State and federal disaster recovery officials report that
60 percent of the Arizonans registering with the Federal Emergency Management
Agency's (FEMA) toll-free registration line,
1-800-621-FEMA (3362), are reporting economic loss.
Of the 5,000 registrants to date, about 3,000 say they face economic problems.
"This fire has had tremendous economic impact to the residents and businesses in the affected area," said State Coordinating Officer Michael P. Austin, director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management. "There are, however, state and federal programs that may help with some of these problems."
Federal Coordinating Officer Scott Wells of FEMA said, "Under a federal disaster declaration, tax relief, unemployment benefits and help for those facing eviction or foreclosure are all among programs available for those affected to help relieve economic burdens imposed by a disaster."
Both urged affected Arizonans to register with FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to access many of these economic aid programs.
Following are some of the programs that may help:
- Under a disaster declaration, FEMA funds the Disaster Unemployment
Assistance (DUA) program. DUA makes those not normally eligible for
regular unemployment, such as the self-employed and farm workers, eligible
if they have suffered disaster-related job interruptions. The Arizona
Department of Economic Security program administers the program. For
more information regarding filing options, call toll free statewide:
1-866-213-8721 and within the Phoenix Metro area: (602) 364-1650.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) makes low interest loans
to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. Homeowners may borrow
up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.
Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace
damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses of all sizes may
borrow up to $1.5 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed
real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.
- Small businesses may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up
to $1.5 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses.
Eligibility for these working capital loans is based on the financial
impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. Small
businesses may need these working capital loans to help pay their fixed
debts, payroll, accounts payable, and the other bills that can't be
paid because of the disaster's impact. SBA loans are the main source
of long-time recovery. For more information on SBA programs, call 1-800-488-5323.
- The FEMA Temporary Housing Program provides Mortgage and Rental Assistance
(MRA) for those facing eviction or foreclosure because of disaster-related,
significant income disruption. If the landlord or mortgage holder issues
a notice of eviction or foreclosure, contact FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA
(3362). One must apply for this program and FEMA will provide an application
package and guidance on how to proceed. Eligibility is determined on
a case-by-case basis.
- The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (...