When applying for FEMA Assistance, you are encouraged to apply with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan program.
Why do you do this if you don’t own a business?
First, SBA offers Disaster Loans for homeowners and renters. Additionally, applying — and even being declined a Disaster Loan — could be the basis of other grant funding available to help you recover.
If you are a homeowner or renter and SBA determines you cannot afford a loan, SBA will automatically refer you to FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program. The FEMA program is a safety net available only to individuals and families and is not available to businesses. It is intended to help meet essential needs not met by any other form of assistance, including SBA disaster loans. Please note that if you were referred to SBA for assistance and do not complete the SBA loan application you cannot be referred to FEMA even if SBA were to determine you cannot qualify for a loan.
Check out this helpful Fact Sheet for Homeowners and Renters.
FEMA has put together a great list of questions, outlining what is true and what is false about SBA Loans and FEMA Assistance.
Survivors can contact an SBA customer service representative via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800-659-2955. Survivors can apply online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov.