NEW YORK – At the request of the State of New York, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a 15-day extension for Hurricane Sandy survivors to apply for disaster assistance.
Survivors now have until April 13 to register with FEMA and to return their disaster loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Individuals can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. They may also call the FEMA helpline 800-621-3362 (Voice, 7-1-1/Relay) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. The helpline is available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EDT, seven days a week.
Hurricane Sandy survivors should keep all options open for assistance in their recovery.
Registering with FEMA is a critical step.
Survivors who have delayed registration for any reason should apply for potential assistance. Registering with FEMA opens the possibility of disaster assistance provided by FEMA and its federal partner, the SBA.
New York City and the State of New York have developed plans for using federal funds to help homeowners, small businesses and communities impacted by three storms: Sandy, Irene and Lee. Those plans are being reviewed by HUD. Registration with FEMA might lead to eligibility for future grants or assistance, regardless of funding administered by New York City or the State of New York.
Survivors who register and receive an SBA low-interest disaster loan application should return the application. It might lead to additional FEMA assistance.
FEMA assistance can include:
- Rental assistance: Temporary rental assistance is provided by FEMA to assist homeowners until damaged homes can be repaired or rebuilt and to help renters until they can return to former rentals or relocate to a new residence.
- Home Repair: Grants are available to homeowners to repair disaster-related damage that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the home safe, sanitary and functional.
- Other Needs: Grants are available for necessary expenses and serious needs caused by the disaster. This includes medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation, moving and storage and other expenses authorized by law.
Applying for an SBA disaster loan
There’s no need to wait for an insurance settlement to apply for an SBA disaster loan, which may help if applicants later find they are underinsured.
Homeowners may be eligible for low-interest loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace their storm-damaged home. Homeowners and renters may be eligible for up to $40,000 to replace personal property. Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may be eligible to borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace storm-damaged property.
To apply for a low-interest SBA disaster loan, go to https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA. Survivors may also visit a Disaster Loan Outreach Center or a Business Recovery Center. To locate the nearest center, visit FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or text “DRC” and your Zip Code to 43362.
For assistance, call the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339) or send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov.