OTTAWA, Ill. -- Less than one month remains for residents in Kankakee, LaSalle, Putnam and Will Counties who suffered damages from the April 20-23 tornadoes and severe storms to call and apply for assistance, state and federal disaster officials said today. The deadline to call and apply is Tuesday, June 22.
More than $3.4 million in grants and low-interest disaster loans has been approved for disaster assistance in Illinois since the Presidential declaration of April 23, according to figures released today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). To avoid a duplication of benefits, some FEMA applications cannot be processed until the applicant provides a final insurance settlement to determine eligible underinsured or uninsured losses.
Residents can still apply for disaster assistance by calling the special FEMA toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech or hearing impairment can call TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Local, state and federal recovery officials and voluntary organizations have combined efforts to assist victims of the severe weather in putting their lives back together. This is a summary of recovery activities as of close of business May 27:
- 667 individuals from the declared counties had called to apply for assistance (see county-by-county breakdown attached)
- 109 temporary rental assistance grants were approved, totaling $180,074
- 34 home repair grants were approved, totaling $61,329
- 2 home replacement grant approved for $14,542
- 67 Other Needs Assistance grants were approved, totaling $166,083 -- may include grants for medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation and other eligible expenses
- 84 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans were approved,
totaling $3,058,600 -- 71 home loans for $2,855,800 and 13 business loans for $202,800
- 613 SBA disaster loan applications were issued: 455 to homeowners and 131 to business owners
- 512 people had visited one of the Disaster Recovery Centers in Granville, Joliet and Utica
SBA Assistance: Recovery officials expressed concern that some applicants who suffered losses may be forfeiting their ability to obtain certain forms of state and federal assistance. Most applicants for disaster relief receive a loan application packet from the SBA that must be completed and returned to avoid possible delays in other assistance programs.
"The SBA loan application fulfills several key information needs," Lee Champagne, FEMA’s Federal Coordinating Officer, said. "It provides the basis for obtaining a low-interest loan to pay for repairing or replacing uninsured disaster-damaged property and helps determine eligibility for grants to pay for serious needs that cannot be funded from other sources."
Champagne explained if an applicant does not qualify for an SBA loan, their assistance request is automatically forwarded to State/FEMA assistance specialists for further review of any unmet needs.
IEMA’s Director and State Coordinating Officer William C. Burke said that delays in returning the loan applications often harm individuals and households that needed help the most. "...