LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Nothing travels faster than a rumor, but rumors and misunderstandings can block your path to getting the help you need to recover from the early May storms.
With less than a month left to register for help, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants you to have the right information about the many disaster assistance programs available to help you get back on the road to recovery.
Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about disaster aid programs:
I registered with my local emergency management agency. Does that mean I registered with FEMA?
No. If you registered with your emergency management agency, the Red Cross, or with any other charitable organization you still need to register with FEMA. For federal and Commonwealth disaster assistance, you must first apply by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 or online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
Are only low-income residents qualified for disaster assistance?
No. Federal aid programs are available to any eligible applicant regardless of income.
I have insurance. Should I still register with FEMA?
Yes. Insurance may not cover all your needs. FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs may be able to help make up the difference.
Do I have to wait for my insurance adjuster before I apply for assistance?
No. You can apply for assistance before the insurance adjuster visits your property.
Can I apply for a loan from the SBA even if I'm not a business owner?
Yes. In addition to businesses, renters and homeowners may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans based on the type and extent of uninsured or underinsured losses. For information on SBA low-interest loans, residents and business owners in the designated counties should call 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339 or go to www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
I don't want a loan. Do I still need to fill out the SBA application?
Yes. You are not obligated to accept a loan if you don’t want one. However, if you receive an SBA loan application you must complete and return it to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. The information you provide helps FEMA determine if you qualify for this type of assistance.
I didn’t have any damage to my home but my private road to my house was damaged. Can I get help from FEMA?
Yes. FEMA’s Housing Assistance grants may be used to repair entrance and exit ways from your home including privately owned access roads or bridges. Repairs to publicly owned roads are funded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.
Can I get help with repairs to my damaged vacation home?
No. FEMA only provides funds to repair your primary residence. However, the SBA may be able to provide assistance if your vacation home is used as a valid rental property.
I rent an apartment. Can I get help to replace my damaged property?
Possibly. You may be eligible for an SBA low-interest disaster loan up to $40,000 to cover your uninsured losses for personal property. However, you must complet...