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Returning SBA Loan Application May Open Doors to More FEMA Assistance

Release date: 
November 17, 2012
Release Number: 

WINDSOR, Conn. – Hurricane survivors who receive a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration after registering for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency need to complete and return it. The application deadline is Dec. 31, 2012.

While SBA’s low-interest disaster loans represent the major source of federal funding for recovery, the application itself may open the door to other FEMA grant programs. People who do not qualify for a loan may be eligible for grants to replace essential household items, replace or repair a damaged vehicle, or cover storage expenses.

“In a disaster, SBA helps individuals as well as businesses,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Albert Lewis. “No one is obligated to accept an SBA loan. If you receive a loan application, it’s important to fill it out and return it. If you don’t submit the loan application, the assistance process may stop prematurely.”

Registering with FEMA often prompts SBA to send an application for a low-interest disaster loan. The application takes little time to complete.

FEMA grants are designed to jump-start the recovery process and may not cover all damage or property loss. SBA low-interest disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to eligible homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters may apply for loans up to $40,000 for personal property. Loan amounts cannot exceed uninsured losses.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

Recovery officials note several reasons for completing the application. For instance:

  • An insurance settlement may fall short. A survivor may be underinsured for the amount of work needed to repair or replace a structure. An SBA low-interest disaster loan can cover the cost. Survivors are encouraged not to miss the filing deadline by waiting for an insurance settlement. A settlement can be used toward the loan.
  • SBA can offer a loan that fits an applicant’s budget. SBA specialists can help with an affordable low-interest loan. In some cases, SBA can refinance all or part of an existing mortgage.
  • SBA can help renters replace household contents and vehicles. Renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged or destroyed in the hurricane.

Applications can be downloaded from For more information, call the SBA’s toll-free line at 800-659-2955. If you use TTY, call 800-877-8339. Homeowners and renters who want to apply online can visit SBA’s secure website at                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

People with storm losses who still need to register with FEMA can register anytime online at, or with a smartphone or device at Survivors can also register by phone anytime day or night by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362. People who use TTY can call 800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available. The deadline to register is Dec. 31, 2012.

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 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts, and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

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

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:10