JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi tornado survivors who fail to return completed Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loan applications may be saying no to federal assistance.
Sometimes survivors think SBA disaster loans are only for businesses. Some may be counting on a future insurance settlement to cover all the costs of rebuilding. Often they don’t want a disaster loan or fear they cannot afford one. Or maybe they simply need assistance completing the SBA disaster loan application.
SBA offers disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations for physical damage from the April 28 through May 3 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding in the following Mississippi counties: Itawamba, Jones, Leake, Lee, Lowndes, Madison, Montgomery, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, Wayne and Winston.
Economic injury disaster loans are available to provide working capital to eligible small businesses and non-profit organizations located in the counties listed above and the adjacent counties.
There are good reasons for FEMA applicants who have been contacted by SBA to submit a completed disaster loan application before the June 30, 2014, deadline.
Some of the top reasons for submitting an SBA application include:
- A future insurance settlement may fall short. Survivors may find out they are underinsured for the amount of work it takes to repair or replace a damaged home. An SBA low-interest loan can cover the uninsured costs. By submitting the loan application, survivors may have loan money available when it is needed. SBA can approve a loan for the repair or replacement of a home up to $200,000. The loan balance will be reduced by a survivor’s insurance settlement. However, the opportunity for an SBA disaster loan may be lost if they wait until after the application deadline.
- SBA can help renters repair or replace disaster damaged personal property. Renters, as well as homeowners, may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, appliances and damaged vehicles.
- By submitting an SBA loan application, survivors keep the full range of disaster assistance available as an option. SBA may refer applicants who do not qualify for a home loan to FEMA for grants to replace essential household items, replace or repair a damaged vehicle, cover medical, dental and funeral expenses and other serious disaster-related needs. But if survivors do not submit their disaster loan applications, the assistance process may stop. Survivors are not required to accept a loan offer.
For more information, homeowners, renters and businesses may call the SBA at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339), send an email to DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visit SBA.gov/Disaster. Survivors can complete disaster loan applications online at https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA.
Survivors can visit any of the three disaster recovery centers open in Mississippi to sit down and talk with an SBA representative in person. Disaster recovery center locations can be found by visiting FEMA.gov/DRCLocator or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585.)
Survivors who have not yet registered with FEMA can do so online at DisasterAssistance.gov, with a mobile device at m.FEMA.gov or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362.) Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability can call TTY 800-462-7585.
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.
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). 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.
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.