WARWICK, R.I. – If you registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster assistance due to personal property loss during the disaster that began March 12, you may have been asked to complete a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application.
Disaster officials say be sure to fill out and return the SBA application, because if you don’t return the application, you may not be considered for all the federal assistance available.
Completing and returning an SBA application, even if you don’t intend to take out a loan, is an essential part of the recovery process.
Homeowners and renters who don’t qualify for an SBA loan may be eligible for an Other Needs Assistance grant. But the SBA loan application must be submitted first. SBA representatives at disaster recovery centers will help you complete your loan application and answer questions.
A second reason to complete the SBA loan application is that recovering from a disaster may cost more than a homeowner or business owner realizes at first. For example, you may discover the need to use a professional cleaning service. Applicants are not obligated to accept the loan just because it is approved. It can be canceled at any time. The loan can be reopened up to six months after approval if disaster-related problems are discovered later.
Applicants found ineligible for an SBA loan are referred back to FEMA for Other Needs Assistance and may be found eligible for a grant for necessary and serious needs caused by the disaster, such as personal property loss or damage.
Receipts are usually required to obtain reimbursement for disaster-related expenses. Lost receipts can often be replaced at the original place of purchase.
Anyone who has not yet registered for assistance should call toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to recover from, and mitigate all hazards.