Requests for flood damage assistance end soon
Flash floods swept through parts of central Alabama in October 2021. They destroyed homes, washed away vehicles and killed four people in several counties.
Jefferson and Shelby counties saw the brunt of the precipitation. No less than ten centimeters of rain fell in some places.
Since then, the federal government has approved more than $13.1 million in funds to help residents and businesses in Jefferson and Shelby counties. Of that number, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved $1.6 million in federal grants to more than 330 homeowners and tenants in Jefferson and Shelby counties. The US Small Business Administration has approved approximately $2.9 million in low-interest loans for local businesses that have been damaged.
This money can be spent on many items, including temporary rental assistance, home repairs, and even some medical expenses.
The deadline to apply for most of this federal aid is Monday, February 21. We have a breakdown of what is available and how to apply:
If you have landlords, renters, or car insurance, you must file them first. Many of these federal assistance programs attempt to cover the cost of expenses and damages not covered by your insurance. Additionally, some of these federal programs require documentation that a claim has been filed with your insurance provider. This applies to residents Who have insurance.
It is illegal to duplicate assistance from other sources, such as insurance. This is why if you have insurance, you must first file a claim with them.
FEMA Individual and Household Program
Deadline? Monday, February 21, 2022
Who can apply?
Residents of Jefferson and Shelby counties who were affected by severe storms and flooding on October 6-7, 2021. This applies to homeowners and renters. Even if you have insurance, you must apply for it. FEMA can help pay for losses not covered by insurance.
You or a member of your household must be a U.S. citizen, non-U.S. national, or qualified immigrant. undocumented families need only one family member who has a social security number to apply. This may include a minor child.
How to apply?
Visit DisasterAssistance.gov, use the FEMA mobile app, or call 800-621-3362 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT, seven days a week.
What documents do I need to have to apply?
- A current phone number where you can be reached
- Your address at the time of the claim and the address where you are currently staying
- Your social security number
- A general list of damages and losses
- Banking information, if you choose direct deposit
- If you are insured, policy number or agent and/or company name
What additional documents may FEMA request?
- Proof of insurance coverage
- Settlement or denial of insurance claims
- Identity proof
- Proof of occupancy
- Proof of ownership
- Proof that the damaged property was your principal residence at the time of the loss
If approved, what can I use the money for?
- Temporary housing assistance, if your home has been rendered uninhabitable by flooding.
- Accommodation costs, such as reimbursement of hotel costs for claimants whose homes were uninhabitable after the disaster. **REMARK: Keep copies of your receipts
- Essential home repairs to make it safe, hygienic and livable
- Home replacement assistance, if not already covered by another program or insurance
- Repairs or replacements of essential uninsured personal property damaged by flooding
- Repair or replacement of an essential vehicle damaged by a disaster
- Medical and dental assistance for uninsured medical and dental needs or losses caused by flooding
- Replacement of clothing, professional tools and teaching materials
- Flood-related moving and storage costs
- Funeral assistance related to a death attributed directly or indirectly to the claim
- Reimbursement for child care expenses and other severe disaster-related needs not covered by your insurance or other programs
What the funds may NOT be used for:
- To travel
- Regular living expenses
- Any discretionary expenses unrelated to the claim
Other important things to note:
- If you are approved for FEMA assistance, you must keep your receipts for three years to show how you spent FEMA grants and document how disaster funds were used.
- People receiving Social Security or other government payments will not have their benefits affected if they apply for FEMA disaster assistance. This includes programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or other federal social protection programs, social safety nets, and other eligibility programs.
- Disaster assistance is not taxable income.
- FEMA will provide interpreters, real-time captions, and information in alternate formats such as Braille, large print, audio, and electronic versions, as needed.
- If FEMA indicates that you are not eligible, you may need to submit additional information to continue the application process.
- A FEMA inspection may be required as part of the application process to determine if your home is safe, accessible, or habitable.
What if my family is undocumented?
You or a member of your household must be a U.S. citizen, non-U.S. national, or qualified immigrant. undocumented families need only one family member who has a social security number to apply. This may include a minor child. A skilled immigrant includes:
- Legal permanent resident (holder of the “green card”)
- An asylum seeker, refugee or foreigner whose deportation is refused
- Immigrant paroled in the United States for at least one year
- Immigrant admitted conditionally (in accordance with the law in force before April 1, 1980)
- Cuban/Haitian Participant
- Certain immigrants subjected to extreme cruelty or victims of a serious form of human trafficking, including persons holding a “T” or “U” visa.
US Small Business Administration
Time limit ? Monday, February 21, 2022 (physical damage) and Wednesday, September 21, 2022 (economic damage)
What types of disaster loans are available?
- Physical Disaster Business Loans: These are offered to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged assets owned by the business. Things like real estate, inventory, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible, including private and not-for-profit organizations.
- Economic disaster loans: available to pay ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the flood. These loans are meant to help through the disaster recovery period. Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes are eligible for these working capital loans.
- Residential Disaster Loans: Available to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.
How can I apply?
You can apply online here or send an application by mail to the US Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
For more information, you can also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email [email protected]
What are the credit terms?
- Credit History – Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to the SBA
- Repayment – Applicants must demonstrate ability to repay all loans
- Collateral – Collateral is required for physical loss loans over $25,000 and all economic disaster loans over $25,000. The SBA takes real estate as collateral when it’s available and won’t deny a loan for lack of collateral, but it does require you to pledge what’s available.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct that the federal government approved more than $13.1 million, not $13.7 million.