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Don't Disqualify Yourself for Assistance; Return SBA Application

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Release date: 
February 4, 2008
Release Number: 

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Residents of Fernley affected by the Jan. 5-10 severe storms and flooding are encouraged to apply for all the federal assistance for which they may be eligible, advise officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Homeowners and renters could miss disaster aid if the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application isn't returned," said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Karl. ?"Returning the SBA application is an important step in the registration process."

FEMA's temporary housing assistance and grants for disaster-related medical and dental expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, the loan application is a critical step in determining eligibility for other assistance. To qualify for grant assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses, homeowners and renters must first be denied an SBA loan and be referred back to FEMA.

FEMA's assistance, which has financial limits set by Congress, may not be enough to put a home back the way it was prior to the disaster. It is designed to give a jump-start to disaster victims as they begin the process of sorting out their lives after a disaster and is focused more on getting victims into an immediate environment that is reasonably safe if the primary residence is unsafe or damaged.

SBA disaster loans are the primary source of Federal money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property.? SBA will approve most disaster loans for this disaster to homeowners and renters at 2.937 percent and to business and rental property owners at 4 percent.? For small businesses only, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.? EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 for repair or replacement of their primary residence; homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property; and businesses may borrow up to $1.5 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury.

Fernley residents should begin making repairs to their homes as soon as possible. Be sure to keep all paperwork and receipts pertaining to work done, and don't start work before first obtaining a written estimate for the specific work to be done. ?Check references and be alert to possibly inflated prices. Shop around.

A denial from FEMA is not necessarily the last word. All FEMA decisions may be appealed within 60 days of the date of the decision.

To register for FEMA assistance, update your contact information or check the status of your registration, call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) (TTY 1-800-462-7585).? Online, go to

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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