BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Federal and state officials are reminding many Vermonters who experienced damage or losses in this spring's floods that they only have less than one week left to apply for financial assistance.
August 15 is the deadline for most Vermonters to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for aid and with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for low-interest loans.
Homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations in Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties must register before August 15 to receive assistance for damage caused by the severe storms and flooding that occurred from April 23rd to May 9th.
Residents in Washington and Caledonia counties have until Sept. 6th to register.
"Even if you think you may not be eligible, it's best to register with FEMA if you've had damage from the spring flooding," said Vermont Emergency Management Director Mike O'Neil. "This way you are covered if something develops after the August 15th deadline. For example, you could receive less than expected from insurance, or discover damage -- such as to your heating system -- that you didn't notice before."
To date, approximately 1,600 Vermont individuals and families have registered with FEMA, opening the door to potential Individual Assistance grants from FEMA or low-interest loans from the SBA. In short, these grants and loans are designed to help eligible survivors repair their homes or businesses and repair or replace personal property.
More than $3.6 million has been approved in federal assistance -- $2,247,066 has been approved in FEMA housing grants for rental and home repair assistance and $134,597 for Other Needs
Assistance, such as replacement of personal property. In addition, the SBA has approved loans totaling $1,269,700.
There are several ways to register. You can go online, either at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or at FEMA's mobile website, m.fema.gov. The website helps to reduce the number of forms you have to fill out, shortens the time it takes to apply for aid and allows you to check the progress of your application online. About 28 percent of Vermonters have chosen this fast and convenient method.
You can also call 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585. If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362. Multilingual assistance is available.
Anyone who applies for FEMA help may receive a disaster loan application from the SBA. You should fill it out and return it. Although no one is obligated to take a loan, those who fail to complete the SBA application may disqualify themselves for other types of assistance.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
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.
SBA disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339...