CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginians who have applied for disaster assistance are encouraged to complete and return their U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) forms as soon as possible.
Many who register for assistance with the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) receive these forms and completing the loan application is a required step in obtaining some types of disaster aid. In addition, a quick return speeds up the process and can mean faster aid to those in need.
"If an applicant is referred to the SBA, that part of the process has to be completed before other aid options can be considered," said SBA officer-in-charge Paul J. McCabe. "Filling out an SBA application does not guarantee that an applicant will be approved for a loan, nor does it mean that they must accept the loan."
SBA loans are the largest source of disaster funds for making substantial repairs or rebuilding damaged structures to their pre-disaster condition. Actual loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition. The low-interest disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.
For those who may need help in filling out their application, SBA loan officers can provide one-on-one help in completing the forms at any of the Disaster Recovery Centers open in the disaster-affected counties. Persons with questions about their SBA application may call 1-800-659-2955 or find SBA information on their website at www.sba.gov.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.