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FEMA and SBA Assistance 
For emergency funds for losses that private insurance wont cover, the Federal government may be able to help. The Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") can help with housing, cash, food, legal problems and other areas of need, depending on the circumstances. Not everyone who applies will receive assistance.  For example, vacation homes do not qualify for FEMA grants.  The agency attempts to prioritize its funds to be issued to those who need assistance the most.

Applying for FEMA benefits cab be a complicated process.  In order to apply for FEMA relief online, visit disasterassistance.gov or appear in person to a local disaster recovery center to acquire application forms and inquire about eligibility for various types of assistance. It has been reported that the agency has issued over $455 million to 369,000 people who applied for temporary housing assistance.

FEMA can also issue low-interest loans to people and businesses who are not eligible for grants.

In the event that FEMA aid is denied, our firms' attorneys can provide assistance. FEMA denies services or requests for financial assistance because applicant fail to provide certain documentation or don’t understand all of the documents that have to be submitted to get approved. 

What you NEED to Know about Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, business and private, non-profit organizations
Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence
Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property
Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury, even if your business is newly opened

You should submit your SBA loan application even if you are unsure whether you will need a loan. You can apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or in person at a Disaster Recovery Center. To find the nearest location, call 800-659-2955. The deadline to file for an SBA loan is 12/31/12.  

Categories of FEMA Assistance Include:

Disaster-related home repair and rebuilding assistance, including temporary housing, housing repair and housing replacement
Disaster-related housing needs including money to repair structural damage, sewage systems, heating and air conditioning systems an utilities 
Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for state unemployment insurance. You must file within 30 days of the date of the announcement of availability. 
Other needs assistance including medical and dental expenses, moving and storage expenses related to the disaster, repairing or replacing vehicles, funeral and burial costs, crisis counseling and the cost of a National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance policy

Did you know FEMA grants…?
Do not have to be repaid
Are tax-free
Are not counted as income in determining eligibility for welfare or income assistance
Are exempt from garnishment, seizure, encumbrance, levy, execution, attachment, release or waiver
May not be reassigned or transferred to another person

You must keep receipts or bills for 3 years to demonstrate how all of the money was used in meeting your disaster-related need. If you do not use the money as explained by FEMA, you may have to return the grant to the federal government. 

The maximum FEMA grant is $31,900. Only U.S. citizens and qualified aliens are eligible for FEMA. To apply for FEMA, visit www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). You may appeal any FEMA determination. Our law firm is offering free legal representation for individuals that need assistance in determining which (if any) FEMA or SBA benefits they best qualify to receive.