DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. -- Illinois residents have an additional 30 days to apply for disaster assistance for damages from the severe storms and flooding of July 19-Aug. 7.
More than a quarter-billion dollars has been approved already in disaster assistance grants, the biggest disaster in federal assistance to individuals in the history of FEMA's Region V. The region encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Because of the size of the disaster and the continuing numbers of people applying for disaster assistance, the deadline to apply has been extended to Wednesday, Nov. 17, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). Nov. 17 is also the deadline to return the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) application provided to many applicants.
"We're adding the extra month beyond our usual 60 days because this is an extraordinarily large disaster, much bigger than most people realize," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory Eaton, the top federal official on the ground for the disaster response in Illinois.
More than 121,000 households have applied for assistance and more than 1,500 people a day are still applying. FEMA Community Relations workers are finding pockets of people with limited English proficiency and other communication needs, such as seniors and people with disabilities, who still do not know about the application process. Some also mistakenly believe that only Chicago residents can register. Residents in Carroll, Cook, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties are eligible to apply.
"We encourage everyone affected by the event to apply," said State Coordinating Officer Joseph Klinger, interim director for IEMA. "The aid not only helps individuals recover, it helps the entire community recover."
Applications can be made online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling toll-free 1-800-621-3362
(TTY 1-800-462-7595). The lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and applications can be taken in any language.
The SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofit organizations for physical damages to assist in full recovery. SBA also has economic injury loans to assist with costs of continuing to operate small businesses and nonprofit organizations to recover from disaster events.
Individual applicants receiving an SBA application should return it whether or not they wish to accept a loan offer. Renters and homeowners who SBA determines cannot afford a loan are referred back to FEMA for additional grant consideration.
For SBA information, call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY 1-800-877-8339) Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. SBA applications may be completed at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For more information about the SBA disaster loan program, visit the SBA website at www.sba.gov. Help filling out the loan applications and other disaster-related information is available by visiting one of the Disaster Recovery Centers.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders 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.