FEMA disaster assistance available to West residents, deadline to file is June 18

KWKT
Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 12:12pm

Disaster assistance may be available for losses not covered by insurance for residents in West, Texas. That is why the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging survivors to call the FEMA Helpline, 1-800-621-3362 or visit the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in West as soon as they receive their insurance settlement.

When an applicant receives an insurance settlement letter or insurance denial, a copy must be provided to FEMA in order to continue processing the registration. FEMA cannot duplicate any insurance coverage. But if a resident’s insurance does not cover all disaster related needs, residents still may be eligible for additional assistance.

“We need residents to call us when they settle with their insurance companies. We need to keep their applications moving forward,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes of FEMA. “We want everyone qualified for assistance to receive help as soon as possible.”

Survivors can also visit the DRC to provide a copy of their insurance settlement. The DRC is located in West at POINTWEST Bank, 210 N. Roberts Rd. Recovery specialists are available daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. to answer questions or assist with registrations.

Disaster assistance that may be available includes grants to help pay for:

•Temporary housing;
•Home repairs;
•Disaster related medical and dental expenses;
•Household items and clothing; or
•Personal property and transportation;
Survivors are encouraged to register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov. They may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The registration deadline is June 18.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

•FEMA cannot duplicate what insurance already covers or pay deductibles.
•Applicants will be asked to submit proof of insurance settlement.
•Applicants should take photos of their damages before they repair or demolish their home.
•Applicants should save receipts for expenses that may be eligible, and be ready to show the receipts to the inspector when he or she visits to assess damage.
Even residents who believe they have complete insurance coverage often find they have a substantial shortfall and need additional financial help. That’s where a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help. The loan can cover the costs that aren’t fully covered by homeowner’s insurance policies.
Applicants don’t need to wait for an insurance settlement before filing their SBA application. SBA can lend the full amount of damages (up to SBA lending limits) even before insurance recoveries are received.

Then, insurance funds can be used to reduce the balance of an SBA disaster loan.

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Disaster loan information and application forms are also available from SBA’s Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, e-mailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visiting SBA’s Web site at http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

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