PISCATAWAY, NJ -- May 10, 2007 – Two weeks after President Bush declared a major disaster in New Jersey, the federal government has approved more than $10 million in disaster assistance funds for those affected by the April nor’easter storm, said officials at the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
FEMA has approved more than $8.5 million in housing assistance funds, which includes rental assistance and/or money for home repairs.
More than $839,000 has been approved for Other Needs Assistance grants, which are for disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs, such as medical expenses, transportation costs and the repair or replacement of household appliances.
The SBA has approved more than $775,000 in low-interest disaster assistance loans for homeowners, renters and business owners.
10,282 households in 12 counties have registered with FEMA for assistance.
In the past two weeks FEMA inspectors have completed 8,500 home inspections.
More than 1800 people have visited one of the 12 federal/state Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) in the state.
NJOEM and FEMA continue to coordinate with federal and local agencies to provide New Jersey residents with a wide-range of recovery assistance. The IRS is offering an extension on some tax filing and payment deadlines and has granted affected residents the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year. More information is available online at www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-829-1040.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development is administering a federally funded program offering Disaster Unemployment Assistance to residents whose jobs were impacted by the April severe storms and flooding. This assistance is available to those who may not typically be eligible for unemployment benefits, such as the self-employed. Residents should call 201-601-4100 for more information. The last day to file a Disaster Unemployment Assistance claim is June 11, 2007.
Local and national voluntary agencies are also offering free home cleanup for flood-damaged homes in New Jersey through the 211 Program. Residents can call 2-1-1 for more information on this and other assistance programs available.
Residents who were affected by the severe storms and flooding of April are urged to register for assistance with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for the hearing or speech impaired, or by registering online at www.fema.gov.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.