Answers to frequently asked questions about the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration
What if I don't have enough or any insurance?
You may qualify for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration or the Farm Service Agency, or you may qualify for tax refunds for items that were not covered by insurance.
How do I get assistance?
Information on tax assistance, grants and loans can be obtained at a disaster recovery center, or by calling FEMA at 800-462-9029. After your application is taken, the damaged property is inspected to verify the loss, and a determination will be made on the type and extent of assistance to be provided. Audits are done later to ensure that the aid went to only those who were eligible and that the funds were used for their intended purposes.
What services are available?
FEMA may be able to provide disaster housing for up to 18 months, low-interest disaster loans from the SBA to cover uninsured property losses, disaster grants to earthquake victims who would be unable to repay a loan, and other services such as crises counseling, unemployment assistance, legal aid, and assistance with income tax implications.
When should I apply?
FEMA encourages earthquake victims to apply for aid as soon as possible. The deadline for most individual assistance programs is 60 days following the President’s major disaster declaration.
What assistance is available from the SBA?
The SBA has a low-interest disaster loan program that helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and nonprofit organizations fund rebuilding after a disaster. The loans generally have low-interest rates and long repayment terms to make SBA recovery more affordable.