INDIANAPOLIS — If you are a disaster survivor in Indiana applying for assistance with FEMA and are referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it’s important to submit the application for a low-interest disaster loan. The deadline for applying for an SBA loan is July 5.
Next to insurance, an SBA low-interest disaster loan is the primary source of funds for real estate property repairs and for replacing contents destroyed in the February flooding. Many survivors who register with FEMA are referred to the SBA. If you pass the SBA Income Test, you must complete the loan application as soon as possible, as this will ensure the federal disaster recovery process continues and you keep your options open.
Homeowners and renters who submit an SBA application and are not approved for a loan may be considered for certain other FEMA grants and programs that could include assistance for disaster-related car repairs, clothing, household items and other expenses. You don’t have to accept the loan if you qualify for one.
You can submit your SBA disaster loan applications in one of three ways: online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/; at any Disaster Recovery Center (DRC); or by mail. Survivors may locate open DRCs near them at www.fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers or by calling the FEMA Helpline at (800) 621-3362. Helpline numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.
DRC information is also available on the FEMA App. SBA has staff at all DRCs to provide one-on-one assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes. Do not wait on an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. The loan balance will be reduced by the insurance settlement if you receive one. SBA loans may be available for losses not covered by insurance or other sources.
Homeowners may be eligible for SBA home disaster loans up to $200,000 for primary residence structural repairs or rebuilding. An SBA loan may help you repair your flooded basement. The assistance FEMA provides homeowners to repair flood-damaged real property in basements is limited to items that support the overall function of the home (e.g., furnace, water heater or pump).
SBA may be able to help homeowners and renters with up to $40,000 to replace important personal items, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster. SBA can help businesses and private nonprofit organizations with up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and other business assets. Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can apply for economic injury disaster loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. The deadline for applying for an economic injury disaster loan is Feb. 5, 2019.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damage, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
If you have not registered with FEMA, you can apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by telephone at (800) 621-3362. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, you should call (800) 621-3362. Operators are multilingual and calls are answered from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time seven days a week; or you can visit a DRC.