Puerto Rico survivors are encouraged to apply for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and to submit an application for a low-interest disaster loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
In planning their recovery, survivors should give themselves the widest possible set of options. Submitting the application makes it possible to be considered for additional grants, and those who qualify for a loan will have that resource available if they choose to use it.
It is important that survivors know they do not have to accept an SBA loan, if one is offered. If they do not qualify for a loan, SBA may refer them back to FEMA and they could be considered for other FEMA grants.
Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace personal property. The filing deadline to return applications for property damage is Nov. 9, 2017 for Hurricane Irma and Nov. 20, 2017 for Hurricane Maria.
Survivors may apply online using SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Additional disaster assistance information is available at https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance.
Survivors may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call 800-877-8339.
Puerto Rico survivors who have not yet registered with FEMA can do so online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov , in Spanish at www.DisasterAssistance.gov/es, or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Operators are standing by to assist survivors in English, Spanish and many other languages.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS – Video Relay Service; TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters, which can cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
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