AUSTIN, Texas – Apply by Aug. 27 for assistance from FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). You have every reason to do so.
If you are among thousands of Texans affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred from May 4 to June 22, you may be eligible for a grant or low-interest loan from the SBA. If you answer YES to any of the following questions and were affected by the disaster, you may be eligible.
Are you a homeowner, renter or business of any size with disaster-related damage?
Did you file an insurance claim for damage and have not received your settlement?
Are you uninsured or under-insured and have unmet needs?
Do you need help applying because English is your second language?
Are you a Qualified Alien or the parent of a U.S. citizen in your household?
Are you a person with a disability or have an access or functional need?
Do you receive Social Security, Medicaid food stamps and are concerned help will affect your benefits?
Do you need help, but feel others need it more or that there won’t be enough assistance for everyone?
Do you feel you will not qualify for a low-interest loan?
If you have questions or concerns about applying for disaster assistance, call the FEMA helpline before the Aug. 27 deadline. Tell your friends and neighbors that help may be available, but they must register before the deadline.
Remember, FEMA grants do not have to be repaid and you are not required to accept an SBA loan. FEMA assistance is nontaxable and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicaid or other federal benefits.
Find answers to questions on http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4223. Topics include rumor control, recovery information, recovery center locations and hours, links to apply for assistance and other resources, information about flood insurance, news releases, fact sheets, photographs and blogs.
You can apply for FEMA assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362 toll free from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time). Multilingual operators are available. Disaster assistance applicants who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.
You also can visit a Disaster Recovery Center. Assistive equipment is available. To find the nearest DRC, go online to http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).
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.
The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover 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. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for childcare, medical, dental expenses and/or funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, those who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, transportation, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.