No Coverage for Damaged Wells and Septic Systems? Try FEMA or SBA

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Release date: 
June 20, 2013
Release Number: 
4116-IL NR-061

AURORA, Ill. – Homeowners may be eligible for disaster assistance for repairs to private wells and septic systems damaged or contaminated by the spring storms between April 16 and May 5.

The damaged well must be the sole source of water for the home to be eligible for FEMA assistance. The repairs must also not be covered by insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits.

If additional repairs or replacement prove necessary after a FEMA inspector has visited, homeowners can choose to have the repairs made and get a verifiable receipt, or written estimate of repair costs including parts and labor. The receipt or estimate from a contractor needs to state that the estimate or actual cost paid is not an upgrade and that the repair was necessary to make the home habitable.

Homeowners who recently discovered damage to their well water or septic systems may call the FEMA Helpline, even if a housing inspector has already visited the home, at 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Users of 711 Relay or Video Relay Services should also call 1-800-621-3362.

Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish or 3 for other languages.

Applicants also can update information online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

A confirmation inspection may be needed to verify the necessary work. FEMA will determine how much reimbursement will be made to the applicant.

Low interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also cover repairs to septic systems and wells.  Disaster survivors with insurance should not wait for an insurance settlement before applying to the SBA. If survivors do not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, the SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use the insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan.

It is important that anyone receiving an SBA disaster loan application complete and return it. Returning the application does not obligate you to accept an SBA loan; however, it is a necessary step to be considered for other additional forms of federal disaster assistance.

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.

Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Media Contact: 571-408-1835

Last Updated: 
June 20, 2013 - 15:03
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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