Financial Assistance

In some disasters, people can get financial help in the form of low-interest loans or grants. These can help renters and homeowners get back on their feet. The funds can be used only for certain things, such as replacing essential personal belongings, fixing vehicles, paying for disaster-related medical costs, and fixing or rebuilding homes.

To get federal financial help, the governor must first ask and get an individual help disaster declaration. Then, those people in the disaster-declared counties can sign-up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They must fill out a disaster loan application from the Small Business Administration.

Even if homeowners and renters don't want a loan or don't expect to get a loan, they should still fill out and return the SBA application. A filled out SBA loan application is needed in order to get for state and FEMA grants.

When damage is assessed, the applicant must provide several items to prove ownership. Here is a complete list of the items an applicant must provide for a damage assessment. 

SBA loans can be used to pay for disaster-related damages for those homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit groups in impacted counties who are able to get them. People with home-based businesses or rental property who have been affected by the storm may also be able to get SBA loans.

Homeowners can borrow as much as $200,000 to fix or replace their main home. Homeowners and renters can borrow as much as $40,000 to replace personal property lost in the disaster.

Businesses can borrow up to $2 million to fix or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The SBA also gives small business owners and most private nonprofit groups economic injury disaster loans for ongoing business expenses to recover from the economic impact of a disaster. Economic injury disaster loans are available even if the business didn't have physical damages.

Loan amounts and terms are figured out on a case-by-case basis. Interest rates are very low. Payment terms as long as 30 years are intended to make the loans affordable.