Springfield, IL -- Victims of May's severe weather who receive a loan application from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) should take the time to fill it out - even if they don't want a loan, urged disaster recovery officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).
Many of the people who call the toll-free number - 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) - and apply for assistance will receive a SBA loan application within seven to ten days of making the call.
"The loan application provides necessary information for determining appropriate assistance for an applicant. If the SBA decides not to offer a loan, the individual is then automatically referred to other available disaster assistance programs," Ron Sherman, FEMA federal coordinating officer, said.
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate someone for an entire loss. If you have insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under an individual's insurance policy. Some disaster aid does not have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of low-interest disaster loans.
These low-interest disaster loans are available to residents and businesses of all sizes in the declared counties that were affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred May 6 through May 11. Interest rates on SBA loans can be as low as 2.812 percent for homeowners and 2.953 percent for businesses. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
"We are urging anyone who sustained losses because of the storms to apply for assistance and mail in the completed loan application as soon as possible," William C. Burke, IEMA state coordinating officer, said.
People who have questions about their applications, or who want to apply for disaster assistance, should call FEMA's toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech- or hearing-impairment should call, TTY 1-800-462-7585.
Information on SBA loan applications is also available by calling the SBA helpline at 1-800-359-2227 or visiting the SBA Website at www.SBA.gov/disaster.