HATTIESBURG, Miss. – If you’re a survivor of the severe storms and tornadoes in January, you have two weeks to register for possible disaster assistance and to return applications for low-interest disaster loans to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The deadline for both is March 27.
FEMA urges everyone who sustained losses from the January tornadoes to register, including those who have insurance. Insurance may not cover all losses.
The four designated counties declared by the President for disaster assistance are Forrest, Lamar, Lauderdale and Perry.
FEMA disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
FEMA can’t duplicate benefits from insurance, but you should still register as help may be available for under-insured or uninsured losses. Update FEMA once your insurance is settled.
After you register, you may be contacted by the SBA about a low-interest disaster loan. Complete the SBA application to keep the process moving.
SBA physical disaster loans are available to homeowners and renters for repair or replacement of disaster-damaged property, including contents and automobiles. SBA loans are available to businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations, too.
SBA economic injury disaster loans are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes having difficulties meeting ordinary and necessary financial obligations because of the disaster. The application deadline economic injury disaster loans is October 25, 2017.
SBA disaster loan interest rates are as low as 3.125 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.5 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Survivors who receive a low-interest disaster loan application from SBA after registering with FEMA should complete and return the application even if they do not plan to accept a loan. By completing the application, applicants may become eligible for additional grants from FEMA. By not completing and returning the applications, survivors could potentially be leaving “money on the table”. And, if you don’t complete and submit the loan application, you stop the FEMA disaster assistance process.
Register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call the FEMA helpline: 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. SBA disaster loan applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For more information or assistance with SBA disaster loans, call 800-659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.