INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Only one week remains for residents and business owners in the 85 disaster-declared counties who sustained damage from the severe winter storms and flooding that occurred between January 1 and February 11 to apply for disaster assistance. March 22 is the last day to call or go online to apply for individual assistance.
“For individuals who have already applied, their cases will continue to be processed,” Ron Sherman, federal coordinating officer, said. “We want people to understand that Tuesday, March 22 is merely the end of the 60-day application period, which started January 21 when President Bush issued a major disaster declaration for the state.”
Loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-related losses to real and personal property and businesses of all sizes must also be submitted by that date. SBA officials encourage anyone who has received a disaster loan application to turn it in as soon as possible. Failure to complete and return your SBA loan application will stop consideration for other assistance programs, including additional grants. More than 6,700 applications have been issued to homeowners and renters and 1,016 to business owners.
To date, $10.6 million in grants has been approved for 8,340 individuals impacted by the disaster. To date, 13,154 individuals and business owners have applied for disaster assistance in the state. In addition, the SBA has approved 58 low-interest loans for $920,400.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not done so to apply as soon as possible. There are two easy ways to begin the application process. Residents may call FEMA’s special toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the speech and hearing impaired. Both numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and multilingual operators are also available to answer your call. Residents with Internet access have the option to apply on the agency’s website at (upper right hand side). Valuable recovery information is also available on the website.
Even if you have insurance, you may still be eligible for disaster assistance for under-insured losses. However, in order to complete an application, FEMA will need the resident’s insurance settlement information to avoid any duplication of benefits. Applicants should call the FEMA Helpline at the same toll-free numbers listed above.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and effectively manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.