January 3 is last day to apply for Hurricane Matthew FEMA assistance

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - January 3, 2017 is the last day people can apply for Hurricane Matthew disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and submit applications for low-interest disaster loans to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

According to FEMA, more than 5,100 households have applied to FEMA for help since President Obama signed the November 2 disaster declaration making Virginia residents in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach eligible for federal assistance.

Storm survivors in the seven designated cities have been approved for FEMA grants under the Individuals and Households program totaling more than $8.6 million to date, while SBA has approved 358 loans to homeowners, renters and businesses totaling more than $12 million.

Disaster assistance for individuals may include grants to help homeowners and renters with temporary housing, essential home repairs, personal property replacement and disaster-related needs. Disaster assistance grants are not taxable income and will not affect eligibility for Social Security, Medicare and other federal and state programs. You do not have to repay grants to the federal government.

Registering with FEMA is the first step in qualifying for assistance. Jan. 3, 2017, is the last day for survivors to file an application. FEMA encourages all survivors who sustained disaster-related damage or losses to apply by phone (voice, 711 or relay service) at 800-621-3362 (TTY users should call 800-462-7585) or online at DisasterAssistance.gov. The toll-free lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. local time seven days a week, until further notice.  Multilingual operators are available.

The SBA, one of FEMA’s partners in disaster recovery, offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property.

For more information about SBA loans, call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster. TTY users may call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. The deadline to file an SBA physical disaster loan application is Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.