TALAHASSEE – FEMA can direct Hurricane Ian survivors to the US Small Business Administration (SBA) with information on how to apply for a disaster loan. Homeowners, tenants, business owners and some non-profit organizations may be eligible. It is important to submit the loan application as soon as possible.
If your application is approved, you are not required to accept an SBA loan, but failure to return the application may disqualify you from further possible financial assistance from FEMA and the State of Florida.
SBA disaster loans are the largest source of federal disaster recovery funds for survivors. The SBA provides long-term, low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters.
SBA disaster loans cover losses that are not fully compensated by insurance or other resources. Survivors don’t have to wait for an insurance settlement before submitting an SBA loan application. They may find they were underinsured for the deductible, labor and materials needed to repair or replace their home.
You can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) through the SBA’s secure website at catastropheloanassistance.sba.gov/ or by visiting a disaster recovery center. Paper applications can be requested by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services or email disastercustomerservic[email protected]. There is no cost to apply for an SBA disaster loan.
SBA disaster loan specialists are available to speak with homeowners and tenants at all Florida disaster recovery centers, which are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Homeowners may qualify for a disaster loan of up to $200,000 for structural repairs or reconstruction of the primary residence. The SBA may also be able to help homeowners and renters with up to $40,000 to replace significant personal property, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster.