How to apply for federal disaster assistance online, via phone, or by mail

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DEADLINES: For FEMA-SBA physical damage or loss claims, file by April 20th

For SBA Economic injury loan file by November 19th.

STEP 1: Document the Damage

  • If insured, make a claim on damaged or lost items
  • Take photos of the damage regardless if you are insured or not

STEP 2: Apply for Assistance

  • If you are not covered, are under-insured, or need more coverage apply with FEMA online at https://www.fema.gov/
  • Uninsured individuals may apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov
  • Applications can be processed by phone at 1(800)621-3362 or by mail at the following address:

P.O. Box 10055
Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055

STEP 3: Wait for Your Application to be Processed (for many this will be the final step)

  • FEMA may refer you to the Small Business Administration (SBA)

***Important documents for Steps 4 and 5***

STEP 4: Learn More about SBA Loans (steps 4 and 5 are only for those referred to the SBA)

Once referred you must fill out SBA application for process to continue (Filling out an application is not a commitment and does not mean loan must be taken)

  • Homeowners qualify for up to $200,000 to repair or replace real estate damage and up to $40,000 to replace personal property
  • Renters qualify for up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property
  • Businesses qualify for up to $2,000,000 to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other assets that were damaged or destroyed (as a result of the storm)
  • Small businesses and most private non-profits qualify for up to $2,000,000 for working capital to help pay obligations until normal operations resume (non disaster circumstances) *small business and non profit economic injury loans are for those suffering adverse financial impacts of the disaster WITH OR WITHOUT property loss

STEP 5: Apply for SBA Assistance

  • Contact the SBA Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center via email at FOCWAssistance@sba.gov or by phone at (800)659-2955.
  • Applications will also be accepted online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov

Qualified applicants will meet the following criteria:

  • CREDIT HISTORY: The SBA will decided if your credit history is acceptable
  • REPAYMENT: Applicants must show the ability to repay all loans
  • COLLATERAL: Collateral is required for physical loss loans over $25,000 and all EIDL loans over $25,000. *The SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available, and the SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral but requires you to pledge what is available.

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