BURLINGTON, Vt. -- With only a few days left for most Vermonters to apply for financial assistance for damage or losses from this spring's floods, the state is already nearing a historic milestone.
Nearly $4 million in federal disaster aid and loans has been approved for those affected by the spring storms and flooding that occurred April 23rd to May 9th and May 26th to May 27th, the first time since 2002 that FEMA assistance has been given directly to Vermont individuals and families rather than municipalities.
"Most federal disaster declarations in Vermont don't include Individual Assistance, so many Vermonters may be unaware that there was a disaster declared and federal help provided," said Vermont Emergency Management Director Mike O'Neil. "This spring's flooding has resulted in far more damage and therefore money is going directly to Vermonters."
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.
To date, nearly 1,700 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.
So far, $2,448,870 has been approved for Individual Assistance for families and individuals, of which $2,309,096 has been approved for housing assistance and $139,772 for Other Needs Assistance, which can include repair or replacement of personal property. A total of $1,487,300 in SBA loans has been approved.
Different methods of registering include: www.DisasterAssistance.gov or FEMA's mobile website, m.fema.gov. The website helps 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. Almost 30 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. They 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.
Whichever method you choose to register, you are encouraged to act before the deadline expires. Registration keeps every financial assistance option open, especially if insurance shortfalls result in uncompensated loss down the road.
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 ...